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ISSUE 2 (82) • 8 – 14 JANUARY 2009 • €3 • WWW.HELSINKITIMES.FI DOMESTIC

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

BUSINESS

TRAVEL

CULTURE

Large-scale municipal reforms

50 years of Castro’s Cuba

Biggest winners of 2008

Baltic spa holidays

Pablo Picasso exhibition to Ateneum

page 5

page 7

page 11

pages 16-17

page 19 LEHTIKUVA / ANTTI AIMO-KOIVISTO

Avoid unqualified chiropractors, doctor says M AT T H E W PA R R Y – H T PÄ I V I S E P PÄ L Ä – S T T

ONLY A FEW cases of serious damage

caused by chiropractic manipulation of the spine and neck have emerged in Finland, but they have been serious ones. Vertebral adjustment can cause any number of potentially fatal complications, from paralysis to a blood clot in the brain. Kari Hurskainen, a senior physician and physiatrist at Hyvinkää hospital, is concerned that too many Finns are seeking care from unqualified chiropractors. He places the number of unreliable practitioners in the country at as many as 2,000. During spinal manipulation, the patient lies prostrate, relaxed, while the therapist performs a series of rapid thrusts to the vertebra, utilising other parts of the vertebra and its structures to correct the positioning of a certain joint. The amount of damage and injury caused in procedures such as this

one is not fully known, since it is not always reported. Rotational movements performed on the neck area are dangerous, according to Hurskainen, since they in particular can cause blood clots in the brain. Orthopaedic diseases, medication taken to prevent blood coagulation, tumours, and metastasis are further complications which preclude chiropractic care. Often patients will turn to chiropractic care when suffering from headaches, neck or back pain. Hurskainen emphasises the importance of seeking diagnosis and care from qualified experts. He points out that in cases of medical mishap, patients are only legally entitled to compensation if the medical practitioner is properly registered. Hurskainen adds that chiropractic care is often a perfectly safe alternative provided it is performed by a qualified practitioner on the right patient at the right time. In the Baltic Sea ice conditions vary greatly. On average, ice covers around 218,000 square kilometres. This year the the mild weather has prevented ice from forming throughout much of the southern coastal areas.

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Guard has warned that ice on the Gulf of Finland is dangerously thin. The mild weather has effectively prevented ice from forming throughout much of the southern coastal areas. Where ice is present, it is exceptionally weak. If the current cold snap continues it is likely that the ice will gradually become thicker. The Finnish Institute of Marine Research is reporting an average sea ice thickness of 1-5 centimetres off the coast of Helsinki. In a normal year the ice would be ten inches thick by New Year’s Day. The water temperatures in the Gulf of Finland are still unseasonably warm. Water temperatures are up to six degrees Celsius, while typically the temperature is below three degrees at this time of year.

THE COAST

O N T H E P LAT E

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Coast Guard warns of thin ice

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Welcome Home Sir Elton John*

Opinions differ on how thick ice should be to be considered safe. Some authorities, such as the Canadian Red Cross, claim that ice should be 15 centimetres thick for walking and 25 to be safe for snowmobiles. If one does venture out onto the ice, the Coast Guard has some tips. They recommend only walking in familiar areas after the ice has been thoroughly examined. Also, they suggest carrying a mobile phone, protected from water, for potential emergencies. If one does fall through the ice, cold weather survival expert Gordon Giesbrecht from the University of Manitoba has developed an extraction technique. ‘Professor Popsicle,’ as he is affectionately known, calls his technique ‘kick and pull.’ The idea is to hold onto the edge of the ice, kick your feet to bring your body parallel to the water surface

and then pull with your hands to get back on top of the ice. Once out of the water, Giesbrecht suggests a person should roll or crawl back to safety. Keeping one’s body weight distributed as widely as possible should lessen the chances of falling back through the ice. If someone should see a person fall through the ice, emergency services should be contacted immediately. Hypothermia can set in within ten minutes, and after being immersed for that long it is possible that the victim will no longer have the strength to pull himself out of the water. According to a study published in 2004, almost four people die each year in Finland after falling through the ice. These incidents normally involve someone walking or driving a snowmobile, and over half of fatalities occur on frozen lakes.

Delicacies from south to north

Your Home, Your Place. Unioninkatu 17 • H elsinki • Finl a nd • phone + 3 5 8 9 6 1 2 8 5 8 5 0 • www.hot e l h av e n.f i *Sir Elton John is an artist who appreciates high quality. Therefore it is not a coincidence, that during his world tour he selects a hotel, that provides an entertainment center by Bang & Olufsen. Hotel Haven has such in every of it’s 77 rooms. In addition to this, a refreshing Day Spa, a gym, excellent restaurants and the central location by the sea, will surely please the quality concious artist. Welcome to Helsinki, Sir.


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VIEWPOINT

8 – 14 JANUARY 2009

HELSINKI TIMES

The President of the Republic of Finland, Tarja Halonen.

New Year Speech by President of the Republic Tarja Halonen Citizens, The New Year starts in an atmosphere that is serious in many ways. Violence has broken out in various parts of the world. The greatest cause for concern is the situation in Gaza. The spiralling violence should be severed and issues should be agreed around the negotiation table. “Peace is a matter of will,” said President [Martti] Ahtisaari upon receiving the Nobel Peace Prize on 10 December. The award was, most of all, recognition for his personal contribution towards building peace. I believe that many of us looked on this also as an incentive for the international community to find reconciliation for the conflicts still unresolved. The will for peace is now needed in the Middle East in particular. The world is also beset by difficult economic problems. The international economic crisis has triggered off a chain of events that is bound to have an effect also on Finland. Economic development has already slowed down considerably and the employment rate has deteriorated. These circumstances highlight the importance of social responsibility. Many have undoubtedly recalled the recession in the 1990s. Surveys show that it still casts its long shadow over some families. According to experts, the position of Finland today is much better in both the private and public sectors. But there are lessons to be learnt from those times. Sufficient attention must be paid in time to employment. We must take action to prevent the consequences

of the slowdown in economic development from coming down most heavily on people who are in the weakest position. An active economic policy needs to be supported by effective education, employment and social policies. At the same time, we must invest in new expertise – technological and operational innovations. The aim must be the wellbeing of the entire population. The strength of our society is based on cooperation. International competition will remain tough even during bad economic times. Our baby-boom generation is ageing, which means that our population is ageing rapidly even though the birth rate in Finland is higher than in many other European countries. We have, therefore, many reasons for investing in education and lifelong learning. Knowledge also brings quality to the lives of people of all ages. The weaknesses in the international financial architecture have, in fact, been well-known for a long time. Many experts have warned about this. The ILO World Commission on the Social Dimension of Globalization stated in its report, completed five years ago, that in order to reduce instability the international financial architecture should be renewed rapidly. The goal was a stable financial system that stimulates global growth, provides adequate financing for enterprises and responds to the needs of workers for decent employment. Today that goal is more topical than ever. A broad-

based common will is now needed. Finland must cooperate strongly both inside the European Union and worldwide so that we can together contribute to calming the situation, leading to more stable international development. Economic growth can lay the groundwork for increasing wellbeing. It must, however, be in accordance with sustainable development, both ecologically and socially. The United Nations Climate Change Conference held in Poland in December showed that the countries of the world have set out in earnest to combat climate change in spite of the economic crisis. The UN Climate Change Summit to be held in Copenhagen at the end of this year aims at an agreement that will commit all countries to a reduction of emissions at the national level. Industrial countries have a central role to play in mitigating climate change, but the participation of developing countries is also absolutely essential. Active participation by us Finns too will be needed. We can help developing countries in many ways: with advance warning systems and flood protection mechanisms or by developing good governance, energy efficiency and forestry. Finland has a lot to offer in this cooperation. The people living around the Baltic Sea region are often said to be highly environmentally conscious people. Nevertheless, the Baltic Sea is one of the most polluted seas in the world. At the turn of last year, I wrote a letter together with the Finnish Prime Minister, Matti Van-

hanen, to all the heads of state and governments of the countries bordering the Baltic, inviting and encouraging them to cooperate in order to improve the state of the Sea. The response to our initiative has been very positive. The Baltic Sea forms a unique natural environment. The same characteristics that make it unique also make it extremely sensitive. Everything that happens in its catchment area affects the Baltic. Fortunately, what is caused by human action may also be remedied by it. It is not easy, and it means that we will need to seriously consider our way of living and our every-day choices – and be prepared to make changes. We do not need to start from scratch. Many good projects are already underway. Public and private partnerships, and cross-sector and cross-border networks have been created around the region. I would like to thank everyone for the cooperation and encouragement. This is a good path along which to continue. I promise that I will also do my best in the future to save our shared Sea. Once again, I have to tackle the question of violence in Finnish society. I am really concerned about it. Last year many Finns lost someone they loved to violence. The school murders in Kauhajoki last September and several other acts of violence in various parts of the country have shocked us all. Unfortunately, the school murders and other violence that has come to public attention are but the tip of the iceberg. Every year more

than one hundred people are killed in our country. Homicide occurs mainly between men, but dozens of women also lose their lives every year to family-related violence. Rapes and other forms of violence are even more common. We cannot and must not close our eyes to this. There must be a change. There are many excuses leading to violence. In the end, violence is the act of an individual for which he/she bears the responsibility, and we must not lose sight of this. We can also make a joint contribution. The general welfare policy prevents exclusion. Adequate mental health services or preventive social work could have helped in many situations. Bullying in school must be stopped in time. The severity of violent behavior is also affected by the large number of firearms and heavy drinking. There are no miraculous means of eliminating violence, but there are many effective ways of reducing it. I am pleased to see that the Government and Parliament have undertaken measures to reduce the harmful effects of alcohol and restrict the availability of handguns. I hope that, as far as both of these matters are concerned, progress will be made resolutely and quickly. I am also encouraging a further reduction in violent behaviour. Violence must play no part in our lifestyle. This year will be the 200th since Finland achieved autonomy and its own central administration. Finland’s state connection with Sweden of more than 600 years was broken. Finland became a Grand

Duchy in the Russian Empire. In the Diet of Porvoo, Alexander I stated that Finland would be promoted into being a nation among nations. Together with a long period of peace these events created the conditions for building our society and, in the end, independence for our country. The Finnish War and Treaty of Hamina, the Diet of Porvoo and establishing the Senate of Finland were part of the revolution throughout the whole of Europe. These events will be remembered this year and I am delighted to learn of the hundreds of local celebrations that will be taking place to mark the year. I believe the anniversary year will increase our awareness of the history of our own country and our efforts to build a democratic society. At the same time, we can, as Finns, continue to cooperate with our neighbours in northern Europe. With these words, I open a national year of commemoration celebrating the year 1809. Citizens, In the global scale, Finland is still a good country to live in. We face challenging times, but together and with cooperation we will come through. An integrated society both economically and socially has been our strength in the past, and our future must be built on it. On behalf of my husband and myself, I would like to thank all of you for your contacts and support during the past year. I wish all of you a Happy New Year 2009.


Starting in September 2009

HELSINKI TIMES

DOMESTIC NEWS

8 – 14 JANUARY 2009

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DOMESTIC NEWS

8 – 14 JANUARY 2009

HELSINKI TIMES

L E H T I K U VA / P E K K A S A K K I

Ultraviolet rays from sunlight trigger vitamin D synthesis in the skin, creating vitamin D for our bodies to use. A deficiency in this important vitamin can cause serious health problems.

Dangerous darkness A new study concludes that Finns are not getting the vitamin D they need while the current recommended intake is not enough. DAV I D J . C O R D HEL SINKI TIMES

WINTER can be dangerous in Finland. People tend to think of icy roads or frostbite as the chief risks, but long dark months bring a real threat of vitamin deficiency. This is because sunlight is the most important source of vitamin

D around the globe, but Finns may spend weeks without a glimpse of the sun. Vitamin D deficiency may cause a range of problems from seasonal affective disorder to bone problems. The National Nutrition Council recommends that most people take 7.5 micrograms of vitamin D per day. For those

over 60, the Council recommends 10 micrograms. Now Heli Viljakainen’s dissertation finds that this recommended intake may be too little. “Based on my thesis and other studies worldwide the adequate intake of vitamin D is 15-20 micrograms, thus two to three times the

current recommended daily intake in Finland,” says Viljakainen.

High risk of deficiency “The most convincing evidence shows that vitamin D deficiency is detrimental to bone health and muscle performance, increasing the risk of falls and fractures,” Viljakainen explains. “Vitamin D regulates the normal function of cells, thus its deficiency is related to cancers such as colon, breast and prostate. Vitamin D deficiency may influence immunity in general and increases the risk of allergy, asthma, type I diabetes and other auto-immune diseases.”

Consumer confidence remains low Despite employment figures remaining fairly stable, most people expect the Finnish economy to deteriorate. R I S T O H A ATA J A HEL SINKI TIMES

CONSUMER confidence figures continue to carve out new, negative records. Statistics Finland began to measure this indicator in 1987, and the figures have never been this low. Not only that, the downward trajectory is still continuing. Employment is expected to drop, and most expect the economy to experience significant difficulties from the global economic crisis. On a positive note, consumers were not as wary of their own personal situation. Most expected to be able to save money in the future and considered their fiscal position to be sound. With fuel prices dropping below one euro per litre in some localities in Finland last week, the changes in the world market

may even release some of the pressure on family pockets in the current year. “I got used to only bad news about fuel and food prices,” says Jussi Peltoniemi, a 32-year-old truck driver. “It comes as a pleasant surprise that in all the gloom and doom there are some bonuses for me on a personal level, like cheaper fuel,” he continues. In general, most are not confident that any reductions in the cost of raw materials will be passed on to consumers. In fact, Finns expect an average increase in consumer goods of 2.1 per cent over the next 12 months. Regardless, many people intend to do maintenance on their homes and purchase white goods. The drop in construction work has left many builders with no work and no income, so com-

petition for smaller jobs is expected to be fierce. Where people experience these windfalls, no one is rushing to spend more. Saving has become an important feature of everyday considerations. According to Peltoniemi, keeping a healthy bank balance is more important now than ever. “I’m saving more than ever before, just in case,” says Peltoniemi. “It is difficult to predict what will happen, and I don’t think anyone can consider being safe,” he says.

Unemployment stable but advertised jobs drop Statistics Finland reports that unemployment figures for November remained stable and at the same level as a year ago. 161,000 Finns remained unemployed. “I’ve noticed a drop in jobs being advertised,” says

Alla, 46, an unemployed engineer currently undergoing retraining. “I would say a third of the job advertisements are gone,” she continues. Her concerns are supported by numbers. Advertised jobs dropped by 7,000 in November from one year ago. This means that there are fewer jobs to go around, which supports the

Vitamin D is required for normal skeletal growth, and a deficiency enhances the development of osteoporosis. Within the next three decades the incidence of osteoporosis is estimated to increase threefold due to an aging population, sedentary lifestyle and unhealthy diets. The location of Finland puts Finns at a major disadvantage. Almost all of Finland falls north of 60 degrees latitude, where sunlight exposure is either extremely limited or the radiation insufficient to produce vitamin D in the skin for half of the year. In optimal conditions an equivalent of ten micrograms can be achieved by exposing five per cent of skin area to sunlight for 10-15 minutes. But with this important source of vitamin D effectively eliminated, Finns are at a higher risk of deficiency. To counter a lack of sunlight, margarines and spreads have been fortified with vitamin D for almost 70 years. Beginning about 30 years ago milk products have also been fortified. Even though vitamin D was added to foods, a study in 2001 found that 30 per cent of adult Finns continued to have vitamin D deficiency during the winter and half of the population had inadequate intake of the vitamin. In response the Ministry of Social Affairs expanded the fortification of milk products.

Viljakainen’s study found that adolescent girls were particularly at risk, even more than the elderly. “Nearly 20 per cent of girls were vitamin D deficient,” she says. Men are also at risk, she points out. “Previously, bone turnover in men was considered less sensitive to changes in vitamin D status when compared to women. However, we showed that vitamin D status was impaired during the winter in otherwise healthy Finnish men, and this also affected bone turnover.” Therefore the major question is how to increase the vitamin D intake in Finland. “As a nutritionist, I know Finns cannot achieve the 15-20 microgram intake without supplements or more vitamin D fortified foods,” informs Viljakainen. “From a public health point of view fortification is the tool to handle the situation, and we have experienced that it is effective – currently we are dealing with vitamin D insufficiency, not deficiency anymore.” “During wintertime, I recommend using vitamin D supplements,” concludes Viljakainen. “If people eat otherwise healthily, a 10 microgram supplement during the winter is enough. If they avoid fish or milk, supplements should be used throughout the year.”

Fortification of foods a solution A major problem is that Finns are still not getting the current recommended allowance of vitamin D, much less the higher intake proposed by Viljakainen. A 2002 study showed that adult men only received an average of 5.8 micrograms per day. It was even worse for women: they only had an intake of 3.8 micrograms per day, about half of the current recommended allowance. negative consumer sentiment. A daily diet of news relating to job losses, companies sending staff for extended “holidays” and plant closures do nothing to help. The construction sector has been hit very hard, with almost all positions completely absent in job advertising. The effects of this will be felt in late winter and spring, according to experts. There are no signs of the situation im-

Vitamin D content per 100 grams of selected foods, in micrograms: Whitefish: 22 Herring: 18 Salmon: 9.8 Margarine: 9.2 Egg: 2.2 Liver: 0.8 Milk: 0.5 Poultry: 0.7-1

proving. Adding to the gloom is the inability of experts to even predict the extent of the economic problems, or even its duration. “I’m worried about the future,” says unemployed Alla. “I need to find a job, but so far there is no success,” she says. The retraining programme continues until next summer, and she fervently hopes that things will somehow change by then.

Consumer confidence indicator (CCI) 10/1995-12/2008 25 20 15 10 5 0 -5 -10

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DOMESTIC NEWS

HELSINKI TIMES

8 – 14 JANUARY 2009

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L E H T I K U VA / A R I N A K A R I

IN BRIEF COLUMN Job security is a growing worry for Finns The national daily Helsingin Sanomat quoted a poll as saying on 2 January that just under a fifth of the respondents had ranked measures to ward off unemployment as the overriding priority for the government, up from about eight per cent in a similar poll carried out in the summer. According to the Taylor Nelson Sofres poll, job security now ranks third behind measures to safeguard healthcare and social services and action to reduce poverty and social inequality. Commissioned by Helsingin Sanomat, the pollster interviewed about 1,000 people in mid-December. STT The municipalities of Lappeenranta and Joutseno merged in the beginning of this year.

New year brings large-scale municipal reform The Minister for Local Government warns municipalities that structural reform is no substitute for sound fiscal policy. OLLI KEMPPAINEN – S T T M AT THE W PARRY – HT

of this new year, 32 municipal mergers have come into effect, reducing the total sum of Finnish municipalities by almost 70. A near 100 municipalities across Finland are involved in municipal mergers of varying size and extent, with the majority of mergers involving the fusion of multiple prior entities into one. Minister of Public Administration and Local Government Mari Kiviniemi (Centre Party) says that following the cluster of mergers ushered in by 2009, she does not expect any further municipal changes on such a grand scale. Nevertheless, she stresses, reform will be ongoing. “There is certainly still potential for further rationali-

AT THE BEGINNING

sation in local government. I’m not convinced that, two years from now, Finland’s municipal structure will be such that it can handle all the stress and challenges presented by an ageing population,” Kiviniemi comments. Kiviniemi expects and hopes that the existing regional cooperation arrangements between various municipalities will continue to serve as a basis for the mergers. Currently, there are 61 such arrangements, involving 272 different municipalities. She predicts that the current economic conditions will encourage further municipal mergers, since they are often seen as one route to more efficient, and thus cheaper, delivery of services. Much will depend on how long the economy remains in recession. Kiviniemi empha-

sises, however, that bureaucratic reform is no panacea for financially wayward municipalities. Researching and adopting the best practice in terms of the efficient delivery of social and health services is a much surer route to achieving genuine savings. “Many of the larger municipalities also have some way to go in terms of instituting reforms and running a tighter fiscal ship. Improving productivity is something which concerns each and every one of Finland’s municipalities,” she maintains.

Metropolitan scale, grassroots democracy Kiviniemi herself is involved in politics at the municipal level since she serves on the municipal council of the City of Helsinki. She supports the merger of Helsinki, Es-

A new playing field for local papers J A A N A VA A H T I O – S T T M AT T H E W PA R R Y – H T

THE WAVE of municipal reforms sweeping the country has changed the conditions in which local media operate. According to the Finnish Newspaper’s Association (SSL), at least 30 of its members have been affected. Following the reforms, a number of publications will find themselves struggling to attract a readership and with it a viable financial base. Jukka Holmberg, responsible for local media at the SSL, predicts that some publications will fall by the wayside as a result. “Local media in Finland is something of a frag-

mentary patchwork. In some newsrooms, the changes will have been seen as threatening, while in others they will be welcomed as an opportunity. As a whole, though, the picture is fairly stable,” he says.

Borders change, people remain The local newspaper traditionally acts as a notice board for its local municipal or parish community. Some of those notice boards will find themselves having to relocate their community, or find a new one, following the mergers. “I have the impression that in a few cases, publications have found that their

readership is cut to some extent. The proportion varies, but it would be very rare indeed that the cut exceeds 50 per cent,” notes Holmberg. Hannu Siltala, editor-inchief of the newspaper Jurvan Sanomat, is confident that his publication will retain its readership now that the changes have come into force. The region’s familiar constituents remain even if the official borders have changed. Furthermore, he sees opportunity in the changes. “Municipal mergers may have an effect on local identities, but it will be a positive, strengthening one,” Siltala says.

poo, Kauniainen and Vantaa, which would entail the development of a “metropolitan model” of governance to ensure that rationalisation does not come at the expense of local democracy. If the merger were to be restricted to only Helsinki and Vantaa, however, Kiviniemi does not believe any new model would be necessary. Kiviniemi is sceptical that a more restricted merger between Helsinki and Vantaa could be arranged as quickly as suggested by Osmo Soininvaara (Green Party), who argues that elections could be staged in the newly-merged municipality within the next two years. In Kiviniemi’s view, any merger in the capital region will require a full term’s worth of preparation and consultation. The Minister adds that further forced mergers from above, such as occurred when the central government resolved to annex a piece of Sipoo and thereby expand Helsinki, will not be necessary. She promises that further municipal rationalisation will only take place when all parties concerned have come to the table voluntarily. Future mergers In 2010: – Pori and Noormarkku – Kalajoki and Himanka – Loviisa, Pernaja, Ruotsinpyhtää and Liljendahl In 2011: – Kuopio and Karttula – Eura, Köyliö and Säkylä – Ulvila, Harjavalta, Kokemäki and Nakkila In 2013: – Lohja and Karjalohja Under consideration: – Oulu and Yli-Ii – Lappeenranta and Ylämaa – Maalahti and Korsnäs – Raisio and Rusko – Hamina, Virolahti and Miehikkälä

Majority of Finns back handgun ban About 57 per cent of the respondents in a poll carried out for three Finnish dailies said they were in favour of stopping members of the public from owning handguns, Etelä-Suomen Sanomat, Kaleva and Turun Sanomat quoted the results of the survey as saying on 30 December. Some 39 per cent of the respondents said they were against a handgun ban, with men markedly more likely to oppose than women. The Finnish government has tightened guidelines on the vetting of firearm licence applicants since the Kauhajoki school shooting in September, the second school massacre involving a properly licensed handgun. Although a government working group has been tasked with considering banning some types of handguns, Anne Holmlund (cons), the interior minister, has expressed scepticism over a total ban. Commissioned by the papers, market research company Taloustutkimus interviewed 1,000 people. STT

More than half of Finns ready to forgo tax cuts About 53 per cent of the respondents in a poll carried out for the Finnish Broadcasting Company (YLE) said they were prepared to compromise over the income tax cuts promised by the government given the present economic woes, the public broadcaster quoted the results of the survey as indicating on 30 December. One in three of those polled said they would even agree to tax increases. Commissioned by YLE, market research company Taloustutkimus asked 1,000 people what kinds of personal sacrifices they saw themselves stomaching in the current economic situation.

The margin of error was stated as 3.2 percentage points either way. STT

Wideroos raises concern at Finnish Parliament’s language climate Ulla-Maj Wideroos, the chair of the Swedish People’s party group, said 29 December she was worried about the climate of attitudes on bilingualism in Finland’s Parliament, adding that politicians should make greater strides to underline the significance of having two official languages. Wideroos urged politicians to make it clear they were serious about bilingualism and praised Paavo Lipponen (soc dem) and the late Johannes Virolainen as leaders who had not hesitated to defend bilingualism. She added that the Centre party had turned a blind eye to the linguistic impact of its policies. STT

Niinistö tops Finnish president poll Sauli Niinistö (cons), the speaker of Finland’s Parliament, is the Finnish public’s favourite for the country’s next president, commercial broadcaster MTV3 quoted a poll as indicating 3 January. About 30 per cent of the respondents picked Niinistö, with some 14 per cent saying they would vote for Alexander Stubb (cons), the foreign minister, if the 2012 presidential election were held at the time of asking. Matti Vanhanen (centre), the prime minister, took third place with seven per cent, followed by Timo Soini, the True Finns' leader. Erkki Liikanen and Paavo Lipponen of the Social Democrats each won the favour of about three per cent of the respondents. Commissioned by MTV3, Research International interviewed about 1,000 people in late December and puts the margin of error at 2.8 percentage points either way. STT

Finland to roll out “fire-safe” cigarettes in 2010 Finnish provincial paper Savon Sanomat reported 2 January that Parliament had passed a regulation banning all non-self-extinguishing cigarettes in April 2010. So-called fire-safe cigarettes extinguish themselves if not puffed on for a few seconds. According to the paper, Finland will be the first European country to make the transition to self-extinguishing cigarettes. STT


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FINNISH PAPERS

8 – 14 JANUARY 2009

HELSINKI TIMES

TRANSLATIONS BY MICHAEL NAGLER L E H T I K U VA / M A R T T I K A I N U L A I N E N

ILTASANOMAT

Niinistö’s relationship secret for two years The tabloid Iltasanomat reports on the surprise marriage of Sauli Niinistö. “SPEAKER of Parliament Sauli Niinistö, 60, married 31-year-old Jenni Haukio, the National Coalition Party’s Communications Manager, on Saturday, reports Iltasanomat. The relationship and marriage were kept secret until the wedding day, even though the couple had been together for about two years. The wedding location was also a tightly kept secret until the last moment. Not even the wedding guests, numbering around 40, knew on Friday where the wedding would be held. Niinistö, who has referred to himself as a ‘puolivallaton leskimies’

(semi-frolicsome widower), found new happiness with Jenni Haukio. According to acquaintances Haukio, who has also published two collections of poetry, is an intelligent and charming person. She has worked as the National Coalition Party’s Communications Manager since August 2007. Earlier she worked as the Party’s executive director in the Satakunta district, and before that as an aide to Interior Minister Anne Holmlund (National Coalition) during the latter’s parliamentary term. In the 2006 Presidential Elections Haukio openly supported Niinistö’s candidacy.”

TURUN SANOMAT 6 January. HEIKKI KAUHANEN

Free admittance to five Turku museums

Children's playgrounds have become common meeting places for youths.

HELSINGIN SANOMAT 4 January KATRIINA PAJARI, RIKU JOKINEN & SAMULI LEIVONNIEMI

Fires lit by teenagers rage weekly in Helsinki The national daily Helsingin Sanomat reports on the hazards that groups of teenagers provide for various public children’s spots in Helsinki. “KINDERGARTEN yards and playgrounds have become popular meeting spots for youths. At the same time these youth groups, who leave behind broken glass and cigarette buts, have become a problem.

According to the police it is difficult to intervene in the activities of rowdy teens, even though reports come continuously. ‘One can freely spend time at a playground or on the yard of a public kindergarten, it isn’t forbidden. Of course we

will intervene if somebody notifies us that they are smashing things there,’ says Police Sergeant Kalevi Havio. According to kindergarten employees interviewed by Helsingin Sanomat, the youths often leave behind graffiti and trash.

More serious infractions also occur. Youths set fire to trash bins and refuse collection points on purpose, and this occurs weekly in Helsinki, according to Chief Inspector Markku Stenberg, who investigates the causes behind fires. Small fires are often particularly lit near kindergartens, playgrounds and schools. ‘Where there are youths, there are fires. It’s done on purpose; they don’t happen by accident.'”

AAMULEHTI 3 January. SAMI SUOJANEN

Shopping trips to Sweden make a comeback According to the Tampere-based daily Aamulehti weak krona attracts shoppers to Sweden. L E H T I K U VA / F R E D P R O U S E R

“’THE CHANGE has been clear. The number of Finnish customers has risen tremendously. The growth began in the autumn and it accelerated during Christmas shopping,’ says clothes salesman Petri Sarkkinen from Haaparanta.” Since autumn the Swedish krona has weakened by 15 per cent compared to the euro. Now one euro is worth almost 11 krona, whereas last September it was the equivalent of 9.5 krona. Development chief Seppo Aho, the new Chairman of the Lapin Matkailuyhdistys (Lapland travel association), says that the cheap krona has returned shopping tourism to the North. ‘The development started from Haaparanta’s Ikea in 2006. It attracted customers, and

now the weak krona boosts sales. In the 1980s people went over to buy sugar and butter. In the 1990s and the beginning of the 2000s this declined, but now it has come back. The weak krona is good for Finns who are paid in euros but it is toxic for Finnish companies competing with their Swedish counterparts. Sawmills and the paper industry are hurt by the economic downturn. In addition to this Sweden’s currency advantage only worsens the situation of domestic companies. Sweden is not a member of the eurozone and in times of economic problems it can utilise this status to its advantage. During stable economic periods euro membership has been advantageous for Finland.”

People in Turku are able to attend public museums free of charge at least part of this year, reports the Turku-based daily Turun Sanomat. “IN EXCHANGE, the museums will provide supplementary services for a fee to those who ask for them. Free admittance to museums requires a Culture Card, which any person who owns a library card in Turku may receive.” Free admittance is offered at the Pharmacy Museum and the Qwensel House, the Biological Museum of Turku, the Luostarinmäki Handicrafts Museum, the Kuralan Kylämäki Village and the Wäinö Aaltonen Museum of Art. In Sweden free admittance increased museum visits tremendously, but it also caused unforeseen additional expenses.

Sweden’s current government abandoned the programme of free museum admittance. Museum Director Juhani Kostet urges the people of Turku to take advantage of this benefit, which has been introduced this year, for many reasons. ‘It strengthens identity and health, as participating in cultural events generally does. At the same time the inhabitants learn to know their city better.’ In exchange for free admittance, a good way of collecting funds was also discovered in Sweden. ‘One museum decided to get creative and charged money for parking.'”

SAVON SANOMAT 6 January. IIKKA TAAVITSAINEN

Year of growth for movie theatres James Bond, Indiana Jones, Risto Räppääjä and Batman insured that 2008 was a successful year for movie theatres, reports the Kuopio-based daily Savon Sanomat. “ACCORDING to preliminary reports, over seven million movie tickets were sold. The growth was nearly eight per cent compared to 2007. Of the Finnish movies Risto Räppääjä was the most watched with about 210,000 viewers. Jussi Mäkelä, the Chairman of the Finnish Film Dis-

tributors’ Association, admits that the movie industry has reason to celebrate. ‘About 1.6 million viewers went to see domestic films. Three domestic movies were among the ten most watched films, which is an extremely good result. Let’s hope that we will have similar results this year as well,’ Mäkelä says.”


INTERNATIONAL NEWS

HELSINKI TIMES

8 – 14 JANUARY 2009

7

Egypt seen as complicit in Gaza assault L E H T I K U VA / A F P P H O T O / K H A L E D D E S O U K I

As the Palestinian death toll rises, much of popular anger throughout the Arab world has been directed at Egypt – seen by many as complicit in the Israeli campaign.

GAZA

A DA M MORROW K H A L E D MOUSS A A L- OMR A NI– IP S

"ISRAEL would not have hit Gaza like this without a green light from Egypt," Hamdi Hassan, MP for the Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt's largest opposition movement, told IPS. "The Egyptian government allowed this assault on Gaza in hopes of finishing off Hamas." "What's happening in Gaza represents an unprecedented crime against humanity," said Hassan. "Enormous military power – featuring the latest US weaponry – is being brought to bear against a poverty-stricken and largely defenceless population." Ever since Hamas wrested control of the strip from the

US-backed Palestinian Authority (PA) last year, Egypt - like Israel - has kept its border with the enclave tightly sealed. The border closures, in tandem with the neutralisation of the strip's airports and maritime ports by Israel, has effectively cut the territory off from the rest of the world, and brought it to the brink of humanitarian disaster. In a televised address 30 December, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak defended Egypt's position by again referring to the 2005 border agreement. "Egypt doesn't want to sanctify the division (between the Hamas-run Gaza Strip and the PA-run West Bank) by opening the Rafah crossing in the absence of the PA and European observers," he said. Egypt has witnessed thousands-strong demonstrations at university campuses, mosques and professional syndicates. Amid an increasingly tight security presence,

protestors have called for the permanent reopening of the Rafah border crossing and the severing of Egypt's diplomatic relations with Israel. "That protests are being staged all over Egypt – and will persist as long as the aggression continues – is an indication of the level of popular outrage," said Hassan. "If the government doesn't change its position and allow aid to flow freely into Gaza, the situation could become very dangerous." Demonstrators in several Arab capitals have vented their rage outside Egyptian embassies. Protestors have reportedly attacked Egyptian consular offices in Sudan and Yemen. Suspicions of Egyptian complicity with Israel against Hamas are not limited to the border issue. Many also suspect a degree of Egyptian-Israeli coordination in advance of the air campaign – an impression reinforced by the fact that Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi

Livni was in Cairo, where she met with Mubarak and Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul-Gheit, less than 48 hours before the assaults began. At a joint press conference with Aboul-Gheit in Cairo 25 December, Livni vowed to retaliate against Palestinian rocket fire from the Gaza Strip. "This is something that has to be stopped," she said of the relatively ineffectual rocket salvoes. "And this is what we're going to do." While Aboul-Gheit used the occasion to publicly urge restraint by both sides, many independent commentators believe that, while in Cairo, Livni received a tacit go-ahead from Egyptian officials for the campaign. "It was at the Livni-Mubarak talks that Egypt gave Israel the green light to strike Gaza," said Hassan. Contentiously, he went on to point to statements by Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum that Hamas had received false assurances from Egypt, immediately fol-

Egyptian policemen unload medical supplies at the Rafah crossing. The medical aid will be delivered to Palestinians in Gaza. Since the beginning of the Israeli attacks the Palestinian death toll has reached 600 with over 2,500 injured.

lowing the Cairo talks, that an Israeli attack on the strip was not imminent. On 28 December, a presidential spokesman strong-

Cuba commemorates anniversary of its revolution Cuba celebrated the 50th anniversary of its revolution on 1 January 2009. President Raúl Castro held a speech below the same balcony from which his brother Fidel Castro declared victory half a century ago, in the city of Santiago.

HAVANA

MARI K AISL ANIEMI HEL SINKI TIMES

IN HIS victory speech 50 years

Dark future lies ahead Raúl Castro, 77, who official-

ly became president last February, seems to have been preparing Cubans for more hardships as the revolution enters its sixth decade. "It is time to reflect on the future, on the next 50 years when we shall continue to struggle incessantly.” Castro spoke of the challenges ahead but did not offer any hints of possible reforms. Since taking office, he has taken small steps to revive the economy and offer new opportunities to Cubans. He made it possible for farmers to work their own land – a step seen as vital in a fertile country where many fields lay fallow and the gov-

L E H T I K U VA / A F P P H O T O / S T R

ago, Fidel Castro warned: "The revolution will not be an easy task. The revolution will be a very difficult undertaking, full of danger." Those words have proved true. The Cuban leader and his

revolution have survived 10 mostly hostile US presidents, a missile crisis that brought the world to the brink of nuclear war, a US-backed invasion by CIA-trained exiles at the Bay of Pigs, the fall of the Soviet Union, five decades of US trade sanctions and the flight of many of its own people, who have thrown themselves into leaky vessels to cross the 90 miles of ocean to Florida. In 2008, the challenges continued with three brutal hurricanes that damaged 500,000 homes and caused an estimated 10 billion dollars in damages.

ernment had to spend 2.6 billion dollars in cash for food shipments from the United States in 2008. The younger Castro also allowed ordinary Cubans to purchase once-forbidden DVD players, computers and cell phones. Unfortunately, many Cubans cannot afford the new luxuries. Purchasing a mobile telephone and setting up an account costs 150 dollars. The average monthly salary in Cuba is about 20 to 25 dollars, though the government provides food rations, medical care, housing and education.

Ailing Fidel Castro Former president Fidel Castro, 82, has not been seen in public since July 2006, when he underwent major surgery. His whereabouts and condition remain state secrets, but his thoughts and words continue to be delivered to the Cuban people. On 1 January, the front page of the state newspaper Granma contained a brief anniversary greeting along with his signature and the time and date, offered perhaps as a reminder or as proof that the aging leader of the Communist Party of Cuba is still around.

ly denied Barhoum's claims. "No Egyptian official sent any assurances to Hamas in this regard," he was quoted as saying in the state press.

Cuba and other nations With the new US Presidentelect Barack Obama, US policy towards Cuba appears set to change. Obama has said that some restrictions could be eased while maintaining the Cuban embargo. But while Obama has signalled the possibility of dialogue with Cuba’s leaders, other nations in Latin America and elsewhere have gone much further in efforts to make Cuba less isolated. The presidents of Brazil, China and Russia have all visited Havana in recent months, pledging greater economic cooperation. At Mexico’s initiative in December, Cuba was admitted to the Rio Group, a diplomatic association of Latin American and Caribbean countries. And in October the European Union formally renewed ties to Cuba.

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A woman stands next to a Cuban flag and a flag observing the 50th anniversary of the Cuban revolution in Havana.

ARVELIN

INTERNATIONAL OY


and2009 careers by 8 – 14 JANUARY 8 Jobs

HELSINKI TIMES IS TOCKPHOTO

Knowing your personal market value Different jobs and industries have vastly different pay scales. As you work out your real worth in the job you are in now or hope to move into, do everything you can to research the market.

Understanding the relationship Just like many areas of business, employment is a deal done on the basis of supply and demand. The workers influence supply in the job market, and the companies influence the demand. How rare you and your skills are and how much your employer needs you is the fundamental basis for calculating your worth in salary and benefits. Finding the going rate The Internet is a priceless tool for salary research. Using an online salary calculator will give you a rough idea of what you can expect in

your particular role, industry and location. In a heavily unionised country with collective bargaining agreements such as Finland, you can easily find wage information for many industries. Search through advertised job descriptions to see salaries. It will also give you a good idea of the key attributes companies are looking for in certain jobs, which means you can emphasise these in your CV to make yourself a more attractive prospect. You can also go to online forums for information. Ask a question such as “Is 3,000 euros per month a good salary for a Marketing Manager in Espoo in the telecoms industry?” in a forum and see what your peers have to say.

Using your findings If you’re approaching your boss for a pay increase in your current role, you can ex-

pect some scepticism when you present your results, so be ready to back them up with specific examples. Most importantly, you should be able to detail tangible, measurable benefits you brought to the company, such as new sales or cost savings. If you’re discussing the possible salary for a new job, your potential employer will usually have a salary range in mind set by their management team. When they make a job offer, you’re immediately in a good position to negotiate as they obviously think you’re the right fit for the job. Consider the offer and match it up with your research to see if it’s fair. Choosing the right company to work for is an important decision at every step of your career, and if one doesn’t appreciate your value in the market, there will be another out there that does. Source: Monster.co.uk

Monster is the world’s leading provider of online recruitment services, operating in 56 countries. It has over 75 million registered users worldwide. 75% of Monster Finland is owned by Alma Media, one of the largest media companies in Finland, and 25% is owned by Monster Inc. The business started in 1998, and in ten years the internet has become the most popular recruiting channel, causing Monster Finland to become the market leader with over 60% of the total online recruitment business. In 2007 Monster Finland’s turnover grew 47% in comparison to 2006.

Advertisement enquiries: Monster Oy, tel. +358 10 665 2293, e-mail: yritys@monster.fi


FINLAND IN THE WORLD PRESS

HELSINKI TIMES TIMES OF INDIA 31 December

Nokia India announces “take back” A global survey is leading Nokia’s Indian subsidiary to take action to increase awareness of handset recycling, writes the Times of India. “NOKIA India has said that it will launch its ‘take-back’ campaign from 1 January. The take-back campaign is aimed at educating mobile phone users on the importance of recycling e-waste and will be rolled out in phases across the country.” “A Nokia survey across 13 countries has showed that only a mere 17 per cent of the cellular users in India were aware that the handset could be recycled. The awareness quotient was the lowest in India. ‘The company will be planting a tree for every handset dropped into these recycling bins and giving out a surprise gift as well,’ Nokia said in a statement.” “Globally, half of those surveyed didn’t know phones could be recycled like this, with awareness lowest in India at 17 per cent and Indonesia at 29 per cent, and highest in the UK at 80 per cent and 66 per cent in Finland and Sweden.”

SCARBOROUGH EVENING NEWS 29 December

COLUMN

Never mind Alexandra Burke, this one’s a real Koop-erstar! Scarborough locals remember the charismatic young student Koop Arponen, who went on to win the Finnish Pop Idol contest in 2008. “KOOP, 24, who spent three years in Scarborough while studying at the town’s university campus, recently won the Finnish equivalent of the UK’s X Factor – and became the Scandinavian country’s biggest news story. X Factor winner Alexandra Burke beat boy band JLS with 58 per cent of those voting opting for her, but Koop won his final with a whopping 70 per cent of the vote.” “Koop spoke exclusively to the Evening News. He said: ‘That time in my life was really lovely, there are so many really nice people in Scarborough. I actually miss the town quite a lot, moreso than London.’ Mick Mancrief, landlord of the Turk’s Head, said he had known Koop for a few years. ‘He used to come into the Turk’s and have a drink.

L E H T I K U VA / V E S A M O I L A N E N

LESLIE HYDE

Harold Pinter – an ignoble footnote Finland’s newest Pop Idol Koop Arponen is a gentleman and a heartbreaker.

At first he sung with a band, made up of students, and he had a regular slot with them at the Ship.” “Mr Mancrief said Koop was a ‘genuine lad’. He said: ‘I doubt he will let stardom go to his head. He used to play in the

pool team here, and he liked to play darts and cards. He had his graduation party here as well, and then he went back to Finland. As he was leaving he said he had entered the competition, but didn’t think he would get anywhere.’”

BARENTS OBSERVER 30 December

Transmission contracts from Russia to Finland Russian power importers strike a deal with Finnish transmission systems company Fingrid, reports the Barents Observer. “FINGRID, the Finnish transmission system operator, has made agreements with three electricity importers on electricity transmissions from Russia to Finland

in 2009. The commercial capacity of the Russian crossborder connections is 1,300 megawatts.” “Fingrid annually puts up for auction the capacity of

the Vyborg power hub, which connects Russia and Finland. Finland is one of the main buyers of Russian electricity accounting for almost half of the export supply.”

FINANCIAL TIMES 19 December. DAVID IBISON

Finland shows Sweden benefit of joining club Finland’s example is giving Swedes cause to mull over joining the eurozone, writes David Ibison in the Financial Times. “SWEDEN, like Finland, is an EU member and both economies have moved in virtual lockstep in the past few years as intra-EU trade has increased. Erkki Liikanen, governor of the Bank of Finland, says: ‘The question remains of why Sweden and Finland have performed basically the same despite having different monetary regimes. The answer is that they are both open economies that encourage competition, both have prudent.’” “Now the global economic crisis is exposing the difference between Sweden and Finland stemming from their positions on the euro. Johnny Munkhammar, research director at the European Enterprise Institute, a Brussels-based non-profit group, says: ‘The euro provides more stability in times of crises. The krona fluctuates in an exaggerated way, simply because it is too small. The fluctuations make foreign trade risky and dif-

8 – 14 JANUARY 2009

ficult, especially for smaller businesses.’” “On the Finnish side, currency stability remains the main benefit of membership, protecting the economy against unforeseen econom-

ic shocks from elsewhere in the world.” “There is also a political element. Liikanen makes it perfectly clear that Finland, as a small country, saw the eurozone in geo-strategic as

L E H T I K U VA / T I M O J A A KO N A H O

well as economic terms. ‘Finland wants to be around all the tables where decisions are being made, so it was both economics and politics,’ he says.”

HAROLD PINTER, the great Nobel Prize winning playwright, died over Christmas. He was also a champion of human rights and campaigned on behalf of the rights of such deserving and undeserving individuals as Vaclav Havel and Slobodan Milosevic. Almost 20 years ago I played Aston in Pinter’s The Caretaker. It is a major part with a terrific monologue. The production was invited to be performed in Czechoslovakia, just before the collapse of Communism in Eastern Europe. Hard to believe but these two events were connected! OUR THEATRE company was based in Helsinki. Whereas The Caretaker was for university-level students, the rest of the repertoire included ‘theatre in education’ for children and young people. We offered the latter to a festival held in Bratislava and nearby Trnava. However, works intended for kids were ignored, but the organisers were very keen on The Caretaker. So we set off in a 30-year-old VW Beetle car. THE JOURNEY foreshadowed things to come! The car went kaput on a German autobahn, and a cola tin was jammed into the engine to replace the defunct cylinder. It didn’t hold for long and in a small neat town in southern Germany an old VW bus engine was dropped in. The troop then continued creeping along at 40 km an hour, accompanied by a torrential rain storm also heading for Bratislava.

worn-out forty-somethings climbed from the car in Trnava to entertain fresh faced Czechoslovakian youth. Our immediate problem was the props. The play is set in a room full of junk, but there was no such concept as junk in Trnava. Junk for most townsfolk was top of the line goods; absolutely no one was going to part with anything. There was also a shortage of Buddha busts to be smashed in the climactic moment. An oversupply of Stalin heads came to the rescue and each time one of these was dashed to the ground tumultuous roars of approval filled the theatre, the one and only audience reaction to the play. Not that the theatre was silent. A crowd of 600 libidinous youngsters found more worthwhile activities. The effect on the actors took its toll. The actor who played Davis I still regard as a terrific realisation of the role but he got hopelessly lost, and we could hear the interpreter flipping through her copy of the play trying to find where she was. Like her, many times we thought “What are we doing here?”

THREE

THE LOCAL actors wised us up. The future president Vaclav Havel was then a writer harassed by the security police. Harold Pinter was president of the English branch of Pen, an organisation concerned with intellectual freedom and active in a campaign to support Havel. The Czechoslovakian authorities had decided that it was politically useful to have a Pinter play put on. It was of no concern if nobody understood it. All that mattered was that they could say “We are a democratic country; we even put on the plays of our critic Harold Pinter.” Within a couple of months they were gone and Vaclav Havel was president of Czechoslovakia.

is a truly great play; lines spring into the actor’s mouth. I live with the travesty of this performance as an absurdist comment on rotten bureaucracies everywhere.

THE CARETAKER

*The Caretaker by Harold Pinter: Direction -Glyn Banks. Cast: Davies – Peter Abbot, Mick – Jonathan Hutchings, Aston – Leslie Hyde

The EU’s common currency turns ten years old in 2009.

9


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HELSINKI TIMES L E H T I K U VA / K I M M O M Ä N T Y L Ä

COLUMN

DAVID J. CORD is a private investor with over ten years of international experience.

Predictions for 2009 PREDICTING the economy is dangerous business. Everyone wants to know what will happen in the future, but the truth is that there is much we don’t understand. An economy has millions of actors and thousands of variables, all behaving in ways that are hard to understand and predict. THAT isn’t to say that we don’t try. A whole industry has

been designed to guess what the economy will do in the future. Millions of euros and hundreds of hours are spent to evaluate statistics and run sophisticated modelling programs in the hope that we can look in a crystal ball and see the unseen. THE BANK of Finland is one of the most respected and competent organisations when it comes to predictions. So how did they do in the recent past? If we look at what our central bankers were saying in mid-2007 about our current year, we get an idea of how little we truly know. IN 2007, the Bank of Finland was guessing our economy would grow at a rate of 2.7% in 2008. They were wrong by about a billion euros. Instead the Finnish economy probably grew at a rate of 2.1%. In percentage terms they were quite close, but in an economy a tiny percentage point difference can be huge in monetary terms.

also expected an unemployment rate of 6.7% in 2008. Here they were too high. There are about 10,000 more people working today than they expected. We will probably have about 6.3% unemployment for the year, and as of October it was even less.

THE BANK

record was in inflation predictions. They expected the consumer price index would grow 1.8%, but Finland will probably have had an inflation rate of about 4.1% in 2008.

Stores begin post-holiday sales in hopes of an increase in turnover.

Finland’s economy takes a breather after Christmas

THEIR worst

December is the busiest month for many companies, while Finland’s economy is at its slowest in January.

SO WHAT are they guessing for 2009? The Bank of Fin-

land thinks that our economy will decline about 0.5% in 2009. Nordea’s economists are more positive and say that the Finnish economy should grow 1.3%. The Ministry of Finance (perhaps the wisest of the bunch) Everyone wants to admitted it has no know what will hap- has idea and won’t even try pen in the future, to make a prediction.

but the truth is that there is much we don’t understand.

NORDEA and the central bank don’t agree on unemployment either. Nordea says 6.3%, while the more pessimistic Bank of Finland says we’ll have a large jump to 7.2%. They also have differing views on inflation. The central bank says it will be at 1.8%, Nordea thinks 2.2%. GUESSING the stock market is even more tricky. In the

long run stock prices tend to track their free cash flow, but over the course of only a year equity valuations can defy explanation. THE SIMPLE fact that the economists were wrong in the past and can’t agree on the future is a warning sign. These predictions are necessary, though. Governments use economic predictions to plan their budgets. Companies use them to make capital expenditures. Investors use them to guess future cash flows. The moral of the story is to listen to the economic experts but to realise the shortcomings in their profession.

david@davidcord.com

DAV I D J . C O R D HEL SINKI TIMES

cial statements look as good as possible.

to conventional wisdom, Finland comes to a complete halt after Midsummer. Many businesses have a skeleton staff in July while most workers flee to their summer cabins or jet off to a warmer climate. While this is true to some extent, January is actually the slowest month of the year for Finland’s economy. Over the past five years, national output on average has fallen 14 per cent from December to January. Many industries have a surge in business at the end of the year. Those companies catering to consumers have huge sales increases as individuals shop for gifts or end-of-year celebrations. Although most people think of companies such as department stores having a large increase in business during December, other industries are also likely to have a seasonal jump in sales. Many corporations hurry to get new deals done before the end of the year in order to make their year-end finan-

Consumers close wallets Anttila is an excellent example of a business that typically has a large drop off in business from December to January. Anttila specialises in fashion, health and beauty, entertainment, leisure activities and interior decorations. Over the past several years it has seen sales in January reach only half the December level. Anttila is classified as a "consumer discretionary" company, meaning the consumer has the discretion on whether to buy their goods. This is in contrast to other consumer-oriented firms such as grocery stores, where people must shop regardless of the season. Companies such as Anttila heavily target seasonal shoppers and must offer large post-holiday sales in order to woo people to shop in January. Stockmann’s department store division is another example of a seasonal business. Over the past several years Stockmann’s Finnish depart-

ACCORDING

ment stores have had sales drop over 40 per cent from December to January. Retailers such as Anttila and Stockmann’s may have had a disappointing holiday season. The Federation of Finnish Commerce recently cut its Christmas sales outlook. Earlier it had expected a couple percentage point increase in sales, but now it is expecting that holiday sales were the same as the previous year. "Consumer discretionary" stores may have an even harder time than normal this January: consumer confidence is now the lowest since the survey began in 1987. Statistic Finland’s indicator was at -6.5 in December, compared to +14 a year ago. It will be several weeks before December sales figures become public.

Post-holiday slump Even grocery stores typically see a January slowdown. Kesko’s food stores, such as their K-Market grocery chain, normally have business drop by 20 per cent in January compared to the month before. Although people must buy

food at all times of the year, the year-end holidays has consumers more willing to splurge on food. January also sees a large fall in passenger cruises. Tallink normally has about 20 per cent less passengers taking a cruise to Estonia or Sweden during January in comparison to December. Cruises often have a seasonal surge as companies or individuals celebrate "Little Christmas" parties with a cruise.

January boom Not all companies see a slowdown in January. Financial firms often are much busier in the first month of the year than the last. Over the past several winters the Helsinki Stock Exchange has had between 30 and 60 per cent more trades in January than December. Banks also sometimes have a jump in interest income as consumers pile on debt for seasonal gift-giving. One of the industries that normally have their best month of the year in January is health clubs. The annual New Year’s resolution to lose weight drives a large increase in memberships after the holidays. An extra incentive to join a gym is all the extra kilos added to the waistline during the festive season.


BUSINESS

HELSINKI TIMES

8 – 14 JANUARY 2009

11

L E H T I K U VA / A N T T I A I M O - KO I V I S T O

Big winners of 2008 Warehouse trucks and communications equipment were just some of the products that helped a few companies’ share prices increase during 2008. DAV I D J . C O R D HEL SINKI TIMES

listed on the Helsinki Stock Exchange had a difficult year in 2008. The OMX Helsinki 25 index was down 49 per cent, one of its worst years ever. Only five of the 128 companies listed on the exchange had their share price appreciate last year. The biggest winner was Rocla, which had its stock price go up over 14 per cent last year. The company develops and manufactures electric warehouse trucks and automated guide vehicles. Even with the economic slowdown, Rocla did relatively well this year. Sales were up eight per cent during the first nine months, and net income remained positive. Even though Rocla’s business was strong, the reason its share price increased so much is because Mitsubishi Caterpillar Forklift offered to buy the company. Mitsubishi offered 13 euros per share, a healthy 100 per cent premium to its stock price at the time. They look to gain a good company, as Rocla has had sales increase an aver-

EQUITIES

age of 11 per cent per year in the recent past. The second largest gain during 2008 came from Proha, a software company that employs about 400 people. Proha’s share price increased 12 per cent last year. Investors were excited when CEO Ilari Koskelo announced he had increased his stake in the company in mid-August, although the share price has declined somewhat since then. Proha managed to increase their sales over 30 per cent during the first three quarters as well as cutting their net losses. Another Information Technology company, Stonesoft, had a ten per cent jump in share price during 2008. Its sales have been increasing at a faster and faster rate. By the third quarter sales were 45 per cent higher than the same period last year. Besides the improving results, investors and analysts are normally impressed by the guidance it offers. While many companies offer short generic statements regarding their future expectations, Stonesoft gives very

Despite a difficult year in 2008, the Helsinki Stock Exchange saw five companies increase their share prices.

detailed information about their industry and company. This wealth of detail may play a role in the favour investors have shown the company. Scanfil, a communications equipment company, had its share price increase four per cent. While sales have fallen slightly, Scanfil

LEARNWELL OY

COR PO R AT E L A N G UAG E TR AINING

has still managed to greatly improve profitability. The company also has an extremely conservative capitalisation structure which appeals to investors looking for safety. In fact, Scanfil has enough cash on hand to pay off its entire interest bearing liabilities three times over.

Its aggressive share buyback programme has also cheered investors. Advertising company Evia was the last winner of 2008, with about a four per cent increase in share price. Evia did not have a good year. In fact, it has not had a good year since 2005, when it made its

last profit. However, significant changes in ownership and a large jump in trading volume have pushed its share price up drastically during December. Evia did manage to finish the year with a higher share price than when the year started, and that in itself was rare enough in 2008.

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8 – 14 JANUARY 2009

HELSINKI TIMES L E H T I K U VA / M AT T I B J Ö R K M A N

IN BRIEF COLUMN Finnair hints at "substantial" route closures Jukka Hienonen, the chief executive of Finnair, was quoted as saying by tabloid Iltalehti on 2 January that the Finnish flag carrier was mulling "substantial" route closures if the economic crisis continued to worsen. Hienonen told the paper that the worst-case scenario would see Finnair shedding up to a third of its destinations. "We hope that a 9% scale-down will see us through this. No route will be kept come what may as there is no point in flying empty aircraft," Hienonen was quoted as saying. STT

Areva-Siemens files for arbitration over Finnish reactor Finnish utility Teollisuuden Voima (TVO) said in a statement 31 December that it had been informed by the International Chamber of Commerce that Franco-German nuclear power station consortium Areva-Siemens had filed an arbitration request over delays and overruns in the Olkiluoto 3 project. Areva and Siemens are building a nuclear power station for TVO in Olkiluoto. "The request relates to a claim presented previously by the consortium to TVO, which TVO has studied and found to be without merit. Understandably, TVO will carefully study the documentation now presented and will respond to it," the utility added. TVO has claimed compensation from the power station supplier for losses and costs incurred as a result of repeated delays in the fixed-price, turnkey contract. STT

Fiskars to cut 35 jobs at Iittala Finnish consumer goods maker Fiskars said in a statement 29 December its Iittala arm would start a round of statutory cooperation procedure talks with the aim of cutting about 35 jobs and laying off temporarily an unspecified number of workers. "The negotiations aim at adapting the company's cost structure to the uncertain market situation," the statement added. STT

CirclePrinters to cut 26 jobs Helprint, a Finnish subsidiary of Dutch-owned CirclePrinters, said 29 December it would cut 26 jobs and lay off the remainder of its workforce for four weeks. Circle-

Printers had launched a round of statutory cooperation procedure talks last month. The company's Mikkeli works employs about 300 people. STT

Finnish economic confidence grimmest on record Finland's consumer confidence indicator continued to plummet in December, hitting -6.5 points, the lowest figure since Statistics Finland began to conduct its consumer surveys in 1987, the agency said in a statement Monday. "Of the four components of the consumer confidence indicator, only expectations concerning saving possibilities improved in December from the previous month. The already gloomy view of the development of unemployment continued to worsen," the statement added. The indicator had stood at -4.5 points in November and at +14.0 points in the year-ago period. The Confederation of Finnish Industries (EK) said in a separate statement that its manufacturing confidence indicator had fallen to another all-time low of -40 points from -33 points in November. The longterm average of the indicator is +4 points. The EK carried out the first of its monthly confidence surveys in January 1993. "Orderbooks were in a decline, and a clear decrease in production is forecast for the next few months," the industry lobby said. The EK's construction and service confidence indicators continued to fall as well. STT

Third of Finns have reined in spending Finnish Sunday paper syndicate Sunnuntaisuomalainen quoted a poll as saying that the economic slump had prompted about a third of Finnish consumers to rein in spending or to defer some purchases. But 60% of the respondents said they had not altered their spending behaviour. About 1,100 people took part in an online survey carried out by Taloustutkimus, commissioned by Sunnuntaisuomalainen. STT

Ålandsbanken will expand to Sweden if they seal the deal to purchase Kaupthing.

While others stumble, Ålandsbanken looks to expand The Bank of Åland has avoided the financial turmoil and is now in discussion to purchase Kaupthing’s Swedish operations. DAV I D J . C O R D HEL SINKI TIMES

UNLESS one lives in the Åland Islands, it is easy to overlook little Ålandsbanken. The Bank of Åland has only eight offices on the Finnish mainland and boasts a balance sheet about 0.6 per cent the size of heavyweight Nordea. But while other financial institutions have been battered by the global financial crisis, Ålandsbanken is set to take advantage of its competitors’ mistakes. In recent weeks it signed a letter of intent to acquire the Swedish operations of Iceland’s Kaupthing Bank. If the deal goes through, Ålandsbanken will greatly expand its business. The proposed Ålandsbanken – Kaupthing deal has its roots in the recent economic expansion. Like several Icelandic institutions, Kaupthing rapidly expanded throughout the Nordic area. Banks like Kaupthing and Glitnir went on a debt-fuelled acquisition spree, snapping up financial institutions and growing rapidly. More conservative companies like Ålandsbanken were content to sit on the sidelines and refused to sacrifice their capitalisation standards in order to grow. When the financial crisis deepened and overextended banks began to fail, governments had to intervene. Sweden, for instance, provided the collapsing Kaupthing about 147 million euros in li-

quidity. While shaky banks around the world were imploding, Ålandsbanken announced that it’s January – September gross income barely declined at all.

Sea captains’ bank Ålandsbanken has a history of being an exclusive niche player in Finland’s banking industry. Founded in 1919 by prominent farmers and sea captains in the Swedishspeaking Åland archipelago, the bank mainly catered to individuals and companies in the autonomous region. It was listed on the Helsinki stock exchange in 1942, but only began tentative excursions to the Finnish mainland decades later. The bank has been careful in its expansion strategy. In banking Ålandsbanken has always stuck to the markets it knows best. It also found another lucrative niche business in providing internet banking solutions to other financial institutions. S-Bank, for instance, uses Ålandsbanken’s technical platform. Ålandsbanken remains a very owner-oriented company. The Board of Directors is dominated by individuals who are major shareholders in their own right. Unlike companies controlled by so-called “professional Directors,” Ålandsbanken has a Board that has their own wealth tied to the long-term success of the company. With such a Board, Ålandsbanken has been able to ignore short-

term results and instead focus on safety and long-term success. The shareholders of Ålandsbanken tend to have a long-term view. In recent years only an average of eight per cent of outstanding shares has changed hands annually. When someone buys Bank of Åland stock, they tend to hold it. Now they hope to gain from a deal with Kaupthing.

Go west Ålandsbanken hopes to finalise the agreement to purchase Kaupthing Sverige in late January or early February. If the deal goes through, Kaupthing Sverige is set to boost the Bank of Åland’s balance sheet by up to 20 per cent and increase its staff by 50 per cent. Moreover, they will be moving into Sweden, an entirely new market for them.

Investors were impressed by the idea. Typically the stock of an acquiring company falls on the news that a company will make a purchase. Ålandsbanken instead went from 25 euros a share the day before the announcement to 29 euros the day after. This is not the first time Ålandsbanken has taken advantage of the mistakes of others. During the last banking crisis it did not need government support. The bank was even able to increase its presence on the Finnish mainland during the banking meltdown of the early 1990s. At that time the bank expanded carefully, focused on specific markets in which it believed it could thrive. Now during this crisis it is once again poised to seize an opportunity.


SPORT

HELSINKI TIMES

8 – 14 JANUARY 2009

13

L E H T I K U VA / R E U T E R S / E N R I Q U E M A R C A R I A N

In Memoriam: Finnish football legend Yrjö Asikainen Yrjö Asikainen's career straddled the professional and amateur eras, the Second World War, and the first truly national Finnish Championships involving all clubs regardless of political affiliation. He died last month at his home in Ylöjärvi, aged 80. EGAN RICHARDSON HEL SINKI TIMES

ASIKAINEN was a strong, bustling forward who scored vital goals for Finland in their first important victories after the Second World War. A 2-0 win over Denmark in Copenhagen on 11 September 1949 was greeted with gleeful disbelief back home in Finland, where Asikainen got a memorable reception in his adopted home town of Tampere. “I got off the train and walked down Hämeenkatu,” Asikainen told me when I interviewed him in 2007. “People stopped and looked at me, and slowly people began clapping because of what we'd achieved in the match.” In 1950 Asikainen scored in a 4-1 win over Holland and a 32 victory against Yugoslavia,

and he looked set to become a fixture in the national team for years to come. His football career had begun in his birthplace, Vyborg, where he played for ViipurinIlves up until the outbreak of the Second World War. He volunteered to help defend the town at the age of sixteen, serving in an anti-aircraft battery before being evacuated in the early summer of 1944. Life as an evacuee was precarious, with a spell living in Jyväskylä before Asikainen reunited with his former ViipurinIlves team mates in Tampere. The team, now called IlvesKissat, was to win the Finnish championship in 1950 with nine Karelian evacuees in the starting line-up. Asikainen was their figurehead, winning the golden boot with 20 goals in 1949, and again with 15 goals in 1950. L E H T I K U VA / H E I K K I S A U K KO M A A

Asikainen will be remembered for his long career in the Finnish football field.

sudoku

SOLUTION ON PAGE 22

Gift to Tampere Like most evacuees, Asikainen found life outside Karelia hard. The attitude of the host population was indifferent and occasionally hostile, but sport offered a way for them to integrate and gain acceptance with the locals. Asikainen described IlvesKissat's championship as “our gift to Tampere”, and it was an important event for a town that had not previously won a football championship. Asikainen became a single father in the early fifties with the death of his wife, and money matters became more pressing for him. Despite trials at Arsenal and Werder Bremen, injury prevented him from moving abroad like his friend and strike partner in the national team, Aulis Rytkönen, but he still had to earn a living in an era when professionalism was still frowned upon, and “shamateurism” flourished. Rytkönen was not selected for the national team during his time at French club Toulouse FC, and Asikainen had to make do with banknotes stuffed in his boots in the changing room when he returned to football with Helsinki club Kiffen. Even when he started playing in Vyborg, he received cinema tickets as an incentive to sign for one club over another, a practice that now seems rather quaint in modern football, where 16 year old Finns can earn hundreds of thousands of euros by moving abroad. Kiffen centenary Despite winning a championship with Kiffen in 1955, Asikainen never moved to Helsinki and played only two seasons for the club, but was nevertheless one of the most celebrated players when Kiffen celebrated their centenary last autumn. In later years Asikainen became a coach for IlvessKissat and the junior national teams, and a journalist for Aamulehti and the Swedishlanguage newspaper Hufvudstadsbladet, where his upbringing in multilingual Vyborg proved helpful. He returned to his birthplace every year after travel became possible, usually with former players, officials, fans and family members of IlvesKissat. Asikainen will be remembered as a legend of Finnish football with a phenomenal success rate, a man who only played five seasons in the Finnish top flight but was top scorer in three of them, a striker who only played nine internationals but scored five goals for Finland.

The Dakar Rally returns after a one-year absence with the 15-day off-road race staged in South America. The rally will run a total of 14 stages across Argentina and Chile.

Dakar Rally in South America for the first time ST T

ONE OF THE world’s most well-

known motorcar rallies kicked into gear in Buenos Aires on 3 December. Originally scheduled to take place in 2007 but cancelled due to safety concerns, this will be the first time ever that the competition takes place in South America. The list of those competing in the Dakar Rally in Argentina and Chile does not contain a single Finnish name.

As in past years, drivers will compete in automobiles, motorcycles and trucks, and it is believed that, for the first time, victory will go to a diesel-powered vehicle. The competition’s 9,574 kilometre-long route runs the gamut from formidable sand dunes to smooth, easily-driven roads. The route runs through the Andes Mountain Range and the Atacama Desert, among other striking landscapes. The competition will come to a close on 18 January.

”I don’t think that the move to South America will mean the loss of the competition’s character. It remains an extremely difficult contest,” says Stephene Peterhansel. Peterhansel, who is French, will run the course in a Mitsubishi, which has won the automobile category seven times running. Peterhansel has won the motorcycle competition six times and triumphed in the automobile category three times.

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14

8 – 14 JANUARY 2009

HELSINKI TIMES

The Tatras Mountains offer remarkable experiences during the whole year, the hotels are excellent and prices provide extraordinarily good value.

Euro supports Slovak-Finnish relations The successful efforts in meeting all the Maastricht criteria (on inflation, interest rates, budget deficit, public debt, and currency stability) led the Slovak Republic to adoption of the euro on 1 January 2009 adding it to the other most significant achievements in modern Slovak history. By concluding this process, in this particularly difficult financial and economic time, Slovakia finalised its full integration into all EU structures.

Depreciation

120 115 110 105 100

Appreciation

95 90

SKK

CZK

HUF

PLN

X.08

IX.08

VIII.08

VII.08

VI.08

V.08

IV.08

III.08

II.08

I.08

I.08

85 80

RON

Source: ECB

Slovakia-Fast Growing Country 11,0

Annual GDP Growth (2007)

10,0 9.0 8.0 7.0 6.0 5.0 4,0 3,0 2,0 1,0 0,0 SK LV LT SI PL EE BG CZ IE RO LU FIN CY GR ES MT NL AT UK BE SE DE FR PT DK IT HU EU-27 Euro area

Robust Economic Development For the past several years Slovakia enjoyed very strong growth and has made significant progress in transformation of the economy. Apart from the successful implementation of reforms, the strong performance is mainly attributed to substantial growth in labour productivity and significant FDI inflows. A very strong and healthy economic performance has been the highest among OECD economies since 2006, with a record level of 10.4% in 2007. The consolidated budget, decreased inflation and interest rates fell well below the marks of the Stability and Growth Pact of the EU. In spite of the current global economic slowdown the

Euro Brings Stability stable currency increases overall economic stability and creates favourable conditions for long-term business decisions

Index (X.2007=100)

Substantial Change of the Economic Environment The euro will substantially change the economic environment by removing the exchange rate risks and lowering transaction costs, thus leading to more trade integration with enhanced access to the large and liquid euro area financial markets, which will foster financial development. Stable currency increases overall economic stability and creates favourable conditions for long-term business decisions.

Source: Eurostat

euro will, after having gone through the current global economic hardships, further boost already impressive growth rates of Slovakia in the medium and long run.

Enhanced Integration with Advanced Economies The integration with advanced European economies will further deepen and trade

will benefit from lower transaction costs, and with no exchange rate risk the financial market integration will foster financial development to the benefit of both companies and consumers. With its small open economy, which has been fully integrated in international trade and financial flows, Slovakia has the euro area and neighbouring countries as its most important trading partners.

Decreasing Domestic Risks The adoption of the euro has broad political support in Slovakia. In order to prevent undue price increases Slovakia, apart from other measures like price watch mechanisms, a special law for consumer protection against unjustified price rises and so forth, adopted “the Declaration of Social Agreement to Adopt and Use the Euro in the Slovak Republic” across the whole spectrum of society covering employers, employees, consumers, trade unions, chambers and so on. The agreement also includes the rule respecting the labour productivity growth indicator in the wage area as the determining indicator upon wage growth, which creates a significant base for healthy price development, since inflationary pressures can never be ignored.

This spread is provided by the Embassy of Slovakia

Comparative Advantages The convergence report of the European Commission, which gave the green light for Slovakia to join the monetary union at the same time, regarded Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania as not yet ready for the euro in a separate assessment. A. Clearly the Slovak euro is available today offering very concrete benefits and viable business opportunities. B. Long term stability – Using the euro will make life easier for Slovakia’s foreign investors by not only removing the risk of currency fluctuations and other benefits, but also providing the stability of the business environment and predictability emanating from sticking to the rules of EMU. C. Slovakia has the highest rating in the region Current Ratings in V4 Countries Standard& Poor’s

Slovakia

Czech Republic Hungary

Poland

Moody’s

Fitch Rating

R&I

JCR

A+

A1

A+

A

A+

stable outlook

positive outlook

stable outlook

stable outlook

stable outlook

A

A1

A+

A

A

stable outlook

stable outlook

stable outlook

stable outlook

positive outlook

BBB+

A2

BBB+

BBB+

A-

negative outlook

stable outlook

stable outlook

stable outlook

stable outlook

A-

A2

A-

A-

A-

stable outlook

stable outlook

stable outlook

stable outlook

positive outlook

D. The euro will facilitate more investment, trade and economic growth substantially enhancing economical viability of doing business in Slovakia. – Changes in business conditions will lead to a reduction in investment risk and increase in attractiveness for FDI – Additional investments will support increase in foreign trade (trade might increase by 50% in long-run) – Higher trade will bring higher GDP growth, we expect 7-20% increase in GDP in the long-term (0,7%-0,3% higher annual GDP growth) E. Slovakia powers ahead of neighbors having the highest growing economy among OECD countries.


NELONEN

8 – 14 JANUARY 2009

HELSINKI TIMES

15

Folklore traditions are vivid ingredients of Slovak culture.

Slovak-Finnish Bilateral Relations

Bratislava is the largest and most important city in Slovakia with 2,000-year-old traditions.

Benefits and Challenges Economic crisis The ongoing financial and economic crisis is having an adverse effect on the Slovak economy due to strong international trade links and falling global demand, although given the high potential growth, the economy will be significantly stronger than elsewhere in Europe. The current crisis undoubtedly represents a waiting period for the next economic boom, creating viable opportunities for international businesses which are able to identify and utilise them to their advantage in order to get exceptionally good value for their investments. Since Finland’s growth is expected to be around 0.5 % next year, compared to Slovakia’s current projections of 4.5%, the bilateral difference in the economic dynamics may be used as a vigorous advantage for intensifying the development of bilateral economic and trade relations. Taking into account the additional economic synergy factors created by entering Slovakia into the euro zone and a long-standing, favourable and business friendly environment, Slovakia represents one of the best business opportunities in Europe. The priority business and investment areas for bilateral and international cooperation are as follows: high-tech, technological centres, innovation, R&D, ICT, biotechnology, nanotechnology, shared services centres, precision machinery, software, database management & administration, IT Services, networked workouts and communications, electrical

and mechanical engineering, production of medical equipments & apparatuses, tourism and other areas.

Benefits and Challenges As already mentioned above, the euro carries with it many benefits as well as poses challenges, and most of them may be defined in brief as follows: Direct (immediate) benefits 1. Elimination of the exchange rate risk against the euro and transaction costs on trades in euros 2. Increased price transparency 3. Lower cost of capital 4. Better resistance to (currency) crises 5. Lower exchange rate risk against the USD 6. Easier comparison of prices 7. Easier travel Indirect (long-term) benefits 8. The euro will contribute to gradual significant growth

of foreign direct investment and foreign trade 9. Faster growth, increase of living standards, progress in real convergence 10. Stable economy – The euro as a strong major world currency will bring about higher economic stability: stable and low inflation and interest rates, and stable exchange rates. This will reduce risks and uncertainty. Enterprises will profit most from the euro.

Challenges 1. Loss of independent monetary policy and the lack of exchange rate adjustment 2. One-off costs of currency conversion on the adjustment of information systems, currency exchange, conversion of prices, dual pricing and personnel training 3. Banks losing revenues from foreign exchange operations 4. Need for further reforms in: flexibility of wages and product market, sustainability of public finances and fiscal stabilisation, improvement in regional mobility.

Euro is Beneficial for Slovakia financial transaction costs

1. Visits Relations between Slovakia and Finland have witnessed increasing dynamics in the past years, which is demonstrated by the visits of Finnish President Tarja Halonen in Slovakia and the Speaker of the Slovak Parliament in Finland. Working meetings of Prime Ministers Matti Vanhanen and Robert Fico have also contributed to these exchanges lately. Going deeper into their portfolios and evaluating possible spheres of cooperation, Slovak ministers of the following sectors have visited Finland recently: agriculture, education and environment. Finnish Minister for Foreign Trade and International Development Paavo Väyrynen led a high profile business delegation to Slovakia to boost further economic and trade cooperation, meeting his Slovak counterparts. Parliamentary foreign affairs committees are also adding to the increase of our bilateral exchanges. 2. Trade After 7 years of continuous progressive development bilateral trade exchanges decreased in 2007, and in January-August of 2008 revamped back with the highest ever export recorded from SK to FI with a huge balance in her favour. The automobiles and electronic prod-

3.Investment The biggest investment in Slovakia materialises mainly in the automotive and electronic industry. Slovakia is at first place in the world in the number of produced cars per capita, with 106 automobiles going out from the production lines per 1,000 inhabitants in a year. Finish companies doing business in SK – Metsä Tissue, Ruukki, Terichem, Peikko, Lindström, Nokia, Ixonos, Finnforest. According to analysis of some Finnish companies, Slovakia provides an optimal location for doing business in Central Europe: available skilled labour force, sophisticated business environment, reasonable costs and proximity to key markets. As the Ambassador of the Slovak Republic in Finland Mrs. Viera Stupakova says “We would like to encourage Finnish companies to invest and do business in our country. Clearly, Slovakia is able to provide a good location for both manufacturing and R&D work for Finnish companies. Our central location between traditional Western European countries and the newly joined EU member states

Bilateral Trade between Slovakia and Finland (millions EUR) 2001

Export 55 Import 99 Turnover 154 Balance -45

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007 2008/8

74 117 191 -43

131 115 245 16

160 96 256 64

189 95 284 94

369 134 503 235

274 138 411 136

572 87 659 485

Source: Ministry of Economy of the Slovak Republic/SO SR; 2008/8=January-August 2008 Top Exports from FI to SK: electrical and mechanical machinery, paper, zinc, wood, plastics, steel and iron, pharmaceuticals, rubber products, articles of iron or steel. Top Imports from SK to FI: automobiles, T V & video, wires, steel and iron, data-processing machines, footwear, plastics, clothing, articles of apparel, sugar and confectionery, glass and glassware.

administrative transaction costs

benefits

ucts grabbed the giant share of the growth.

puts Slovakia in a unique and advantageous position”.

4. Tourism Some 10,000 Finnish tourists visit Slovakia and enjoy a diverse country of great beauty, mountains and lakes and wonderful hospitality. The whole tourism infrastructure is rapidly being upgraded. There are only a few places in the world where you can find so many natural attractions concentrated on such a small territory as in Slovakia. Between the alpine peaks of the High Tatras in the north and the flat lowlands of the proud Danube river in the south lays an incredible variety of nature. And thanks to the excellent location in the heart of Europe and favourable climatic conditions Slovakia has a great perspective to be ranked among the most favoured tourist destinations. As the Ambassador of Slovakia in Finland, Viera Stupakova, says “Whilst pictures and words can tell a story, the Finnish travel industry needs to see, touch and feel the country for themselves. They must go and see the huge developments that are taking place. They need to whet the appetites of the Finnish traveller, who has little concept as to where Slovakia is, let alone what is on offer. Slovaks have a saying: ‘Come as a Visitor, Leave as a Friend,’ and that is a message that needs delivering!” There is an open invitation to visit and enjoy Slovakia all year around with superb winter skiing conditions, relaxation spas, battery recharge facilities of all sorts of a different nature, beautiful landscape, historic castles, magical Bratislava and a lot more. More information about tourism in Slovakia can be found on our website here below. 5. Contact www.slovakembassy-cdhelsinki.sk Sources: National Bank of Slovakia, OECD, FT, Reuters, Slovak Statistical Office, Ministry of Economy of SK, Bank of Finland, Eurostat.

exchange rate risks long-run GDP increase by 7-20% costs

currency conversion costs* 0

0,1

0,2 (% GDP)

0,3

o,4

loss of independent monetary policy

* for comparability with permanent effects the one-off conversion costs are split to 5 annual installments Source: NBS - The effects of euro adoption on Slovak economy

Amazing AquaCity Poprad, nestled in the High Tatra, is an affordable, environmental, luxury health spa that uses geo-thermal waters to give pleasure and health.

This spread is provided by the Embassy of Slovakia


16

TRAVEL

8 – 14 JANUARY 2009

HELSINKI TIMES

SC ANS TOCKPHOTO

SC ANS TOCKPHOTO

Spa yourself in the Baltic Ready to relax and let your thoughts wander far from work, even just for one weekend? The Baltic spa hotels are there to serve even the most demanding customers and are guaranteed to make visitors feel welcome. K A I S A M Ä E N PÄ Ä HEL SINKI TIMES

AS WELL as traditional spa fa-

cilities, most Baltic spa hotels offer a variety of services such as holistic skin treatments, dental care and hair and beauty management. The range of mud and clay treatments, internal mineral water cures and magnet and laser treatments vary from one hotel to another, and most of them offer hand, foot and facial treatments. It is true that the interior is important, but the sur-

roundings also matter: most spa hotels are located in relaxing areas with much to see. Beaches, beautiful parks and small town restaurants make the whole visit a lot more interesting. One can leave the hotel and continue to relax while walking, shopping or cycling in the beautiful Baltic environment.

Sandy beaches and architectural treats in Estonia In 1991, the year that its independence was re-estab-

lished, Estonia was still relatively unknown to most foreigners apart from Finns, who visited its shores mainly for tax-free goods. Much has changed since then. Estonia has modernised its scenery, tourists are flowing in and aesthetic buildings have replaced empty cargo structures in the harbour. Estonia is slowly establishing itself as a modern spa country in which relaxation and wellness come first. When it comes to easy access, the new Tallink Spa Ho-

tel in the picturesque Old Town of Tallinn is definitely one to look at. Popular with many Nordic visitors from Norway, Finland and Sweden, this spa hotel offers its services with cheaper prices than most of those that are located further away from the capital. Because of its popularity, it is recommended that visitors book services in advance. In the midst of relaxing at the spa, one can easily shop in the Old Town and walk around admiring its historical structures.

Pirita Top Spa is located on the seashore, about ten minutes drive from Tallinn. It has a wide selection of services. Located only three kilometres away from Tallinn Harbour, one kilometre from the beach and 200 meters from the port, this spa is perfect for those who want to combine relaxing and exploring Estonia. Friendly service and delicious food are there for those who need a break from working life. Pärnu, which is about one and a half hours drive from Tallinn, is rapidly becoming a proper spa destination. In practice, this has meant several new places being constructed within a relatively short time span. Even though English is still not common-

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ly understood in this small town, visiting herbal saunas, getting a massage or relaxing in a hot water pool is worth trying. Hotel Viiking is located only a few minutes walking distance away from the town centre and its sandy beaches. In addition to the hotel’s basic services, one can also get treated at a beauty salon or a dentist. Furthermore, several saunas are waiting to take one’s mind away from stress and work-related business. SPA-Hotel Viiking also offers different health services, which are described more on its website.

Spa breaks in Latvia and Lithuania Jurmala in Latvia can offer relaxing moments by the wa-


TRAVEL

HELSINKI TIMES

ter. Baltic Beach 5 Star Spa offers a seaside view and all the comforts of a typical resort hotel. Offering a wide range of services, this is truly a place to rest one’s nerves. This spa hotel’s packages include direct flights from cities such as London and Glasgow, and connecting flights can be arranged. French pedicure and underwater massage are included in a package from which three options can be chosen. Jurmala Spa Deluxe offers fresh sea air, a selection of hot and cold pools, saunas and some extensive spa treatments such as hot stone romance that includes massage with hot volcanic stones, anti-stress and antipollution facial treatments and aromatic massag-

es. Packages can be made to include flights from London Gatwick or Riga. Lithuania is not commonly thought of as a true spa destination. However, the Spa Vilnius, in Druskininkai in southern Lithuania, is a modern, popular hotel. Even though the building itself does not necessarily look inviting from the outside, one should not feel let down. Just like an oasis in the midst of a desert, the hotel’s interior design and services are excellent at soothing one’s senses. Treatment rooms are decorated with care and the variety of services does not leave anyone’s expectations unfulfilled. Even though spa services are generally considered as something for more mature

visitors, there is also much to offer for younger people who travel with work colleagues or with a group of friends. Food, wine and pacifying treatments are for people of all ages, and the prices are mostly affordable for purses of different sizes. Most Baltic hotel spa holidays can be ordered as packages that include accommodation, breakfast, lunch and dinner, medical checkups, gym and pool services. Private transport can usually be ordered at harbours and airports. It is easy to tailor the right type of package and pre-order all wanted services. The Baltic spa hotels are here to make lives easier, and to make people remember what life can be like at its best.

Spa packages – Baltic hotels offer spa packages that include accommodation, spa treatments, meals and use of sauna and swimming pools. – Prices range from under €50 for one night per person to over €500 for a week’s stay per person. Average price for a two night stay is €100-250 per person. Prices may be higher during weekends and high season. – Tallink Silja, Ikaalisten Matkatoimisto and Matka-Vekka offer package deals that also include cruises or flights from Helsinki. www.visitestonia.com www.viiking.ee www.amberhotel.lv

8 – 14 JANUARY 2009

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Affordable summer season flights now available. Moon travel Hämeentie 1 00530 Helsinki (Near Hakaniemi metro)

Tel: 09-7744880 Fax:09-77448810 www.moontravel.fi info@moontravel.fi

Travel Fair 5-18 January 2009 Matka, Nordic Travel Fair, is the biggest travel event in Northern Europe and the Baltic Region. Last year it gathered almost 85,000 visitors. The travel theme for 2009 is ‘Our World- Our Responsibility', and different aspects of responsible travel will be visible at the fair including social and cultural perspectives as well as climate and environmental matters. This year’s new exhibition areas are: Spa & Wellness and Tasty Travel. Tickets: €13 adults €9 children, students, pensioners Traffic connections: From the city centre trams number 7A, 7B and 9 as well as buses number 17 and 69. By train only five minutes from city centre. All trains stop at the Pasila Station (300 m walk). For more information, please visit www.finnexpo.fi


18

LIFESTYLE

8 – 14 JANUARY 2009

HELSINKI TIMES E S KO J Ä M S Ä / H E L S I N G I N K A U P U N G I N M AT K A I L U - J A KO N G R E S S I T O I M I S T O

COLUMN COLUMN

Language, logic and light I AM IN FULL agreement with Michael Collinson in the

Christmas issue where he states that teaching English in Finland is all over bar the occasional lessons to the fat singing lady. May we also purge the school books of pronunciations that would make Prince Charles cringe? We should now concentrate on teaching Finnish more effectively. I praise the people at Kids Play Finnish for using the language learning style of need, context and communication. The previous approach was akin to teaching kick boxing to pacifist fish. I HAVE nothing but praise for Finnish. As my ex-tutor (now comfortable in a nice rubber room and enjoying a diet of happy pills after a long career trying to teach Finnish to morons like me) repeatedly said, in English, “Finnish is a very logical language,” and how true that is. How comforting to know that while you regard it as mind boggling that the verb To Go alters the suffix on town names Tampere and Joensuu in completely different ways, you can rest assured that somewhere, deep down in the depths of linguistics, there’s a logical expression to explain it away. Sure, it’s a logical formula that would get George Boole reaching for the Scotch. True, you need the memory of DNA on a sober day to recall such intricate formulas while buying a rail ticket, but you can always reflect on the lovely logic of the language as the ticket seller helpfully replies, “Sorry, Sir. Can you say that in English?” THE INHERENT beauty of Finnish lies not solely with its logic but also with its fascinating etymology. For instance, very few Finns will be aware of the original meaning of the mill town name of Valkeakoski. Some fools will insist upon it meaning “white rapids” while others, equally deluded, will argue for “frosty rapids”. Neither is true. The word Valkeakoski derives from the ancient Karelian expression, “Good God! What’s that smell?” ANOTHER daily example of the wonderment of Finnish is Hesburger. Many will state with firm belief and conviction that the suffix –burger is of North American derivation but this is simply an interesting coincidence of linguistics. No, the word Hesburger actually comes from an ancient Sami idiom that meant, “Thank you for your fast-food order. Here’s some plastic with an embossed number. See you soon.” THE LANGUAGE reflects the environment. Unknown to

many linguists is the Light Depletion Reductio ad Absurdum amendment to the Unified Theory of Linguistics. This is the theory that where there’s limited light there’s also limited vocabulary. Try talking to a slug and you will soon discover the extreme of this theory. Approaching a T-junction recently I asked my Finnish passenger if any cars were coming from the right. The reply “ei tuu” had me skidding to an unneeded stop. Its two-syllable functionality is sublime but, dangerously, never taught at night school. luck to Nigel Brigden of Kids Play Finnish in shedding more light than logic on the subject.

GOOD

Stephen McKay

Public tram sport Tramline Number Three carries as many stories as passengers. DAV I D B RO W N HEL SINKI TIMES

be many tramlines in Helsinki, but there are only two Number Threes. Two, because unlike lesser tramlines, the Number Three runs in a loop, calling itself the 3T as it heads towards Töölö, and the 3B as it heads towards Kallio. The tram system in Helsinki is one of the oldest in the world, with the first horsedrawn trams entering active duty in 1888. Horses made way for electrical trams in 1901, and have changed remarkably little since then. While Viipuri and Turku abandoned their trams during the 1950s and 1970s respectively, Helsinki made the brave decision to stick with theirs, and how visionary that decision now seems. More than 56 million tram

THERE MAY

journeys were taken last year, more than the Helsinki Metro. This means that every person living in the entire capital district uses the trams more than once a week on average, which is by any means a staggering amount. But while the other tramlines are used by commuters and shoppers, the 3B in particular plays home to a cast of assorted drunks, misfits and artists the likes of which can be found nowhere else in the city. While this is not always good – any frequent passenger will be familiar with the unpleasant sense of having just sat on a seat recently used as a toilet – it is a unique and vital part of the city. As many strange and peculiar incidents happen on that tram in the evening as in any Hollywood movie. On the bright side, the tram also plays home to a lot

of tourists, and it is always nice to head into work surrounded by groups of eager backpackers happily clutching their maps and gawking at the sites. Also good is the fact that the trams run every few minutes, meaning residents of Töölö, Kallio, Alppila and Eira can all be in downtown within 10 or 15 minutes of leaving home. Try doing that in LA. Helsinki Times asked a few passengers for their best tram stories: Two winos met aboard the tram. They shook hands and began what can only be described as an extremely polite (albeit loud) conversation. “Wonderful to see you, how have you been?” They spent some time trying to recall where they’d last met, until one of them at last said, triumphantly: “Kakola!” (the

now-closed maximum security prison in Turku). Nodding, laughter, more recollections. At that point, the posh lady sitting behind them took a very firm hold of her handbag... Joanna, Helsinki I was on the tram one day when I noticed that the woman behind me was having quite a loud conversation with someone about the difficulties of suffering from mental illness. At one point the conversation became quite heated. I looked around to see who she was talking to and found that she was talking to herself! Nikki, West Indies Two drunks were happily, and noisily, slurping fruit wine when a man very politely informed them: “Put the bottle away, or get off the tram.” They were stunned, even outraged. One called the man a fascist. “You can’t do that!” the drunk yelled. The man smiled. “Actually I can,” and he pulled out his police badge. The drunks meekly admitted defeat and staggered off in Bear Park in Kallio. Jason, Canada


CULTURE

HELSINKI TIMES

8 – 14 JANUARY 2009

19

NADIA L AURO

Dancing in the spring

IN BRIEF Apollo award goes to Epidem

Zodiak – Center for New Dance has prepared a versatile programme of the most interesting artists and trends in contemporary dance for spring 2009. S U S A N F O U R TA N E HEL SINKI TIMES

ZODIAK begins its new season

in January with Eeva Muilu, one of Finland’s young choreographers, who returns to the centre for three performances with her recent work Something is Somewhere. Her thought-provoking work, featuring five elderly people and one young dance artist, questions age, performing and the performing arts. It creates a unique possibility of dialogue between different ways of thinking and bodily existence. The seventh international Side Step Festival’s theme of this year is “Choreographic Dreams of the 21st Century”. Organised by Zodiak, it focuses on social choreography, a cultural interplay based on the interconnectedness of art, creativity and social reality. The festival consists of

The Helsinki Documentary Film Festival, Docpoint, will award its Apollo Prize to the production company Epidem later this month. The annual prize will be officially conferred during the six-day festival which will take place in the Finnish capital 20–25 January. Epidem was founded in 1968, and the award is a recognition of Epidem’s prolific body of documentary work over the course of four decades. Docpoint has described Epidem’s oeuvre as extensive, progressive and artistically accomplished. The production house has worked with both domestic and foreign directors in making its films. The Docpoint festival programme will feature a series of Epidem films. STT

international performances, performance lectures, artist dialogues, workshops and various performance events. Side Step 2009 also includes interesting workshops on Social Dreaming by renowned group analyst Gordon Lawrence. Social Dreaming is a methodology that seeks to explore the unconscious dimensions of the social world through the sharing of dreams. Zodiak: Tallberginkatu 1 www.zodiak.fi Eeva Muilu: Cable Factory’s Pannuhalli from 29 Jan-1 Feb Side Step Festival: Cable Factory from 30 Jan-8 Feb www.sidestep.fi Festival pass €40

French choreographer Latifa Laâbissi’s solo Self Portrait Camouflage can be seen at the Side Step festival.

Helsinki to play host to Picasso exhibition The Finnish National Gallery is the only one in the Nordic region to secure the privilege of presenting what is essentially the artist’s own collection. S U C C E S S I O N P I C A S S O / K U VA S T O 2 0 0 8

art. In viewing these works, one really does feel as though one is reading the man’s diary,” suggests Museum Director Maija Tanninen-Mattila.

Unique collection Each of the works featured in the exhibition will make their way to Helsinki from their home in the Musée National Picasso in Paris, which maintains an exceptionally comprehensive collection of the artist’s works. The Musée came into being after Picasso’s death when his heirs resolved to pay their inheritance tax to the French state by offering up the art pieces themselves. In the process, the state took ownership of a significant proportion of the paintings, sculptures, ceramics, sketches and graphic art works which Picasso had kept for himself – works he

had therefore considered of great personal significance. This heritage was supplemented by a further donation granted by his widow Jacqueline Roque in her testament. “Our museum’s collection is unique precisely because it was Picasso’s own, and also because it contains works from every single point in his career,” enthuses Fabien Docaigne, Director of Administration at the Musée. Ateneum’s exhibition spaces are currently under renovation, and during that time the Picasso exhibition will travel to a number of other international destinations before making its way up north. The works have already been displayed in other European galleries such as the Reina Sofia in Madrid, an exhibition which attracted some 10,000 visitors daily. At the moment, the collection is on display in Tokyo. For the first time in its history, Ateneum will be selling tickets beforehand in a bid to manage expected demand. Pre-ticket sales will begin on 1 March 2009.

Woman reading. Paris, 1935. SANNA NIKUL A – S T T M AT T H E W PA R R Y – H T

exhibition of works by the Andalusian-Spanish painter Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) is set to unfold over two stories of the Finnish National Gallery Ateneum next year. Some 200 works from every period of the artist’s oeuvre, including paintings, sculptures, sketches and collages, will be on display. A

WIDE-RANGING

Helsinki is the only Nordic capital to play host to the travelling exhibition. With exact dates yet to be specified, Ateneum will present Picasso’s works for a good three months in the autumn of 2009 before the exhibition is packed up and shipped to Hamburg where it will be on show during spring 2010. “Picasso lived to over 90 years of age, and in that time he managed to leave an indelible mark on the history of

New arrival of embroidered pillows ossy not b I am st have I ju ideas r bet te

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Between Stockmann and the Design Museum Korkeavuorenkatu 29/ Pikku Roba 5 info 09 655 326

Welcome!

Savonlinna theatre prepares spring treat This coming spring, Savonlinnna theatre will celebrate its 95th year of existence by offering a wide-ranging programme of performances for both children and adolescents. The season’s first show will be a piece of puppet theatre aimed at pre-school aged children entitled Kolme iloista pukkia (The three merry billy goats). The work, adapted and performed by actress Mervi Koskinen, will have its premiere in Sulkava on 11 January, while in Savonlinna it will be performed during the week-long winter break (23–27 February). Soon afterwards,Savonlinna theatre will also give the stage to one of Swedish children’s book author Astrid Lindgren’s most beloved characters, Katto-Kassinen, or Karlssonon-the-Roof. This show will be directed by Kira BoesenMuhonen. STT

Italian state acts to protect country’s cultural heritage A wooden crucifix created by artistic genius Michelangelo around 1495 has been placed on display in the Italian parliament after it was purchased from a Turinese antique store at the beginning of December for about €3 million. Its market value is estimated to be as much as ten times that sum. The Italian government resolved to use its privilege of preventing the seller from considering other customers, since it feared that the cultural treasure would be taken abroad. The Italian President Giorgio Napolitano described the 40-centimetre-high sculp-

ture as a “work of supreme beauty.” The piece can be admired in Rome until the end of January. STT

Finnish film conquers France The Finnish film Niko – lentäjän poika (Niko & the Way to the Stars) has proven popular with French film-goers. In the first five days of its appearance on French screens, it pulled in some 114,600 viewers. The French firm BAC has distributed 373 copies of the film in France, the largest ever international distribution of a Finnish film. In Finland, Niko – lentäjän poika received its premiere on 10 October 2008. It attracted around 190,000 Finnish viewers during its domestic run, making it one of the country’s most-watched animation films in 2008. The film has been sold to over 100 different countries and is therefore one of the most widely-sold ever. The animated film was directed by Kari Juusonen and Michael Hegner. STT

50,000 new books for Finland’s libraries The Finnish Cultural Foundation’s three-year endeavour Kirjatalkoot is progressing as planned. Almost €1 million of the Foundation’s funding has been used over the course of the last year to acquire over 50,000 new books for libraries throughout Finland, with 373 municipalities taking part in the scheme. Most of the new books bought thus far with the scheme’s funding have been for children. During 2009 and 2010, only those municipalities which increase their own funding for library book acquisition will be able to take advantage of the Foundation’s support. STT

Duffy and Burke produce most-sold records According to figures presented by the BBC, albums released by Duffy and Alexandra Burke were the most-sold records in Britain during 2008. Duffy’s Rockferry was the most-sold LP, while the most-sold single was Burke’s version of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah. The Welsh songstress Duffy sold around 1.7 million copies of her album, the most successful effort of the year, although Take That’s end-of-year release The Circus came close, with Kings of Leon’s Only By The Night coming in third. Leona Lewis’ Spirit and Coldplay’s Viva La Vida also broke the millionsales mark. STT


20

EAT & DRINK

8 – 14 JANUARY 2009

HELSINKI TIMES SC ANS TOCKPHOTO

RESTAURANTS

Mediterranean Dining Tehtaankatu 34 D 2 00150 Helsinki tel. 020 711 8350 www.mangesud.fi Open: Tues-Sat from 5pm

White with one, thanks Trying to talk to some Finns before they have had their morning coffee can be dangerous to your health. JAMES MEEK HEL SINKI TIMES

coffee market is big. 51 million kilos of coffee is roasted, grounded, drenched and drunk around breakfast tables and office cubicles every year. Finnish people consume the highest amount of coffee in the world, on average drinking four to five cups a day, with 90 per cent of the population drinking coffee. Paulig, maker of Juhla Mocca and Presidentti, is the biggest coffee producer in the country and accounts for 61 per cent of the Finnish coffee market. There is a fairly good chance that at least one of the cups of coffee you drink today will be from their factory in Vuosaari.

THE FINNISH

Bean there, done that Head Roaster at Paulig Marja Touri has a job that many would envy, but few can do. Every day she tastes over 200 cups of coffee, and has the responsibility of ensuring that all the 200,000 packets of coffee that are produced in the facto-

ry every day taste exactly the same as the packet before it, and the same as a packet produced ten years before that. This is no easy feat. Every day different containers of coffee come in from countries such as Ethiopia, Brazil and Colombia, and every batch tastes different. Similar to wine grapes, the soil types, growing season and the time it was picked all influence the flavour of the beans. These different elements need to be mixed together to get the consistent taste that people have come to love, and in many cases rely on. Juhla Mocca contains 14 different components and seven to eight different types of beans. If the flavour is just slightly off, people will notice. Paulig Marketing director Katri Ojalehto says that coffee drinking is as much about the experience as it is about the coffee. There are different moments and occasions where coffee is important, from the simple morning coffee, to milestones such as weddings, birthdays and graduating parties.

And don’t think the cafe latte or mochachino from cafes across the city are about to take over. Filtered coffee still accounts for 98 per cent of the Finnish coffee drinking market.

The spitting image The tasting room in Paulig’s factory is simple. A long table stands in the middle, with small coffee roasters behind it and sinks at thigh height. Over 40 cups of coffee are arranged on the table, three cups for each sample, with the coffee’s roasted and unroasted beans in front of them. It is the job of the tasters to sample and rate every batch sent to the factory. Using one spoon to dip into the coffee, they then pour it onto another spoon (for hygiene reasons), slurp it up and evaluate it before spitting it into the sink. This is somewhat unnerving, and could even be called disgusting. After all, this goes against everything your mother ever taught you about polite table manners.

However, it is a specialised skill. According to Touri, you either have it or you don’t, and it takes up to five or six years to be a good taster. Finland is renowned for its stringent and tough testing. Touri has been in the business for 23 years and says she does not want to think about the amount of coffee she has had in her lifetime. “The numbers would be quite horrible. 200 cups a day, five days a week for 23 years, that’s why I tend to drink water during my coffee breaks,” she says laughing.

Tips for the perfect cup of coffee • The coffee must be well kept – Ensure it is properly sealed for freshness after opening. • The equipment must be clean – Don’t just quickly rinse your coffee container. Make sure it is properly cleaned after each time or it will taint the flavour. • Use fresh water – Don’t reheat water that has already been boiled once, and always use cold water in the kettle or machine. • Touri recommends korvapuusti with normal coffee, or a piece of chocolate for single origin coffee, such as from Kenya.

SATKAR Nepalese Restaurant The biggest Nepalese Restaurant in Helsinki • Suitable for group parties • Fully licensed • Delicious food with tandoor

Welcome to Satkar Fredrikinkatu 46 (Kamppi, Autotalo). 00100 Helsinki, Finland Tel. +358 9 611 077, +358 40 707 1140 www.satkar.fi


EAT & DRINK

HELSINKI TIMES RESTAURANTS

8 – 14 JANUARY 2009

RESTAURANTS

21

RESTAURANTS

Proudly sponsored by:

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WELCOME! TO ENJOY THE TASTE FROM THE TOP OF THE WORLD

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Luotsikatu 12, Katajanokka for bookings pls call tel. 09-622 1996 open: Mon.-Thu. 10.30 am-10 pm, Fri. 10.30 am-11 pm, Sat. 12 am -11 pm, Sun. 12 am -10 pm

SHEEP THIEF

Transported to Australia in 1828 for the crime of steeling a sheep, this man was never to see Europe again. Now his descendents are back. Serving you with criminally good Australian beer, wines and snacks in Helsinki today.

SERVICE BY DESCENDENTS OF CRIMINALS

Open: 14-02 Sunday-Tuesday 12-03 Wednesday-Saturday WHAT’S ON AT THE AUSSIE BAR: Thursday 8th Jan- Cocktail Evening with DJ @ 9:30pm Friday & Saturday- DJ both nights @ 9:30pm, let the good time roll. Sunday 11th Jan- Come and relax to easy listing tunes and enjoy great staff. Wednesday 14th Jan- Mikko Sippula, LIVE MUSIC @ 9:30pm Come and have a Tooheys or two!

AUSSIE BAR Salomonkatu 5, Kamppi 00100 Helsinki, Finland

Tel. +358 (0)9 737 373 Email: aussiebar@aussiebar.net Web: www.aussiebar.net

The Nepalese restaurant Gorkha is located in Ullanlinna, near the city centre. The cosy and homely atmosphere invites you to enjoy good food and excellent service.

Vuorimiehenkatu 12, 00140 Helsinki Phone: 09 676 106, www.gorkha.fi

www.currypalace.f

www.currypalace.fi

CURRY palace New weekend buffet Fully licensed

Indian speciality restauran Original Indian taste Daily Buffet 10:30-14:30 ₏8.50 (only weekdays) Opening:mon-fri 10:30-23:00, sat 12:00-23:00, sun 12:00-20:00 Leppävaarankatu 10, 02600 Espoo www.currypalace.fi Phone/fax 09 548 3751

Advertise your restaurant here. For example, this size: 37.5 x 31 mm

FIRST ORIGINAL NEPALESE RESTAURANT Open: Mon-Fri 11-23, weekends 12-23, Lunch: Mon-Fri 11-15 Contact: Ratakatu 1 b, 00120 Helsinki. www.himalaya.fi Book your table: tel. (09) 647 551, fax. (09) 647 552

Advertise your restaurant here. For example, this size: 37.5 x 31 mm

Time stands still at the Brezhnevian era’s last monument Kafe Moskova, situated in central Helsinki. Cold beer and freezing service. Open: Mon-Sat 6pm-2am. Sun closed. Contact information Eerikinkatu 11, 00100 Helsinki, Finland Tel. +358 9 751 75613 www.andorra.fi

Korkeavuorenkatu 27 Helsinki Tel. +358 9 635 732 www.juuri.fi

Transforming Finnish gifts of nature in an innovative manner to suit modern tastes.

FROM MIAMI TO HELSINKI New Latino Cuisine Finally in Helsinki! Korkeavuorenkatu 47 / Etelä Esplanadi, Helsinki tel. 09 678 345 www.nuevolatino.fi


22

WHERE TO GO

8 – 14 JANUARY 2009

HELSINKI TIMES

COMPILED BY MIISSA R ANTANEN Thu 15 Jan David Sandström Overdrive (SWE) An alternative rock band Kuudes linja, 21:00 Kaikukatu 4 Tickets €8 www.kuudeslinja.com

Kuriton Company: Sing, Hedda Sing! The new production of the fresh and unruly musical theatre group Kuriton Company is a result of a delicious cooperation of interesting artists. The director Maksim Komaro is known as a pioneer of Finnish contemporary circus, and Eeppi Ursin, who has composed the music for the show, is a talented and noted musician, as is Tuomas Norvio, the sound designer.

Thu 15 Jan Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra Helsinki Philharmonic orchestra performs works of Mozart and Albeniz with Victor and Luis del Valle. Finlandia Hall, 19:00 Mannerheimintie 13 E Tickets €17.50/11.50/5 www.hel.fi/filharmonia

The title of the show Sing, Hedda Sing! is a reference to Henrik Ibsen’s play Hedda Gabler, which provides a starting point for this musical theatre production. It focuses on questions stemming from Hedda Gabler’s themes about female violence, motherhood and the lack of it, as well as women’s role pressures created by society.

Turunlinnantie 1 Tickets €15/10 www.stoa.fi

Fri 9 & Sat 10 Jan Rojo – Red The flamenco piece’s choreography derives from the theories of the classical Greek philosophers on the nature of movement. Kanneltalo Cultural Centre, 19:00 Klaneettitie 5 Tickets €12/10 www.kanneltalo.fi

Sing, Hedda Sing! combines theatre, circus and musical theatre.

EXHIBITIONS MUSIC Thu 8 Jan Puolitanko Violinist Pekka Kuusisto and pianist Iiro Rantala will retell familiar tango songs unexpectedly. Kom Theatre, 20:00 Kapteeninkatu 26 Tickets €12 www.kom-teatteri.fi Thu 8 Jan Murmansk Bass-driven melancholic melodies and female vocals . Henry’s Pub, 23:00 Simonkatu 3 Free entrance www.henryspub.net 8/10/15 Jan Tosca Puccini’s Tosca is one of the most

A ENTR FREE

Film premieres in Finland Friday 9 January

THEATRE AND DANCE

Despite the topic’s seriousness, it is approached in a relaxed manner at times. The production is a playful combination of theatre, circus and musical theatre. The stage is filled with physical comedy, contemporary circus, visual theatre and opera aesthetics. The show is not language-specific.

15/17/20/22/23/ 24/27/28 Jan Stoa Cultural Centre of Eastern Helsinki, 19:00

Korkeavuorenkatu 23 Tue 11:00-20:00 Wed - Sun 11:00-18:00 Tickets €7/6/3/0 www.designmuseum.fi

Helsinki, 17:00 Turunlinnantie 1 Free entrance www.hel.fi/filharmonia

popular works in the history of opera. Finnish National Opera, 19:00 Helsinginkatu 58 Tickets €28-62 www.operafin.fi

Sat 10 Jan Moonlight Sonata Sharafat Hongell on piano will play Beethoven, Chopin, Liszt and Rahmaninov at this daytime concert. Sello Hall, 15:00 Soittoniekanaukio 1 A Tickets €12/6 www.sellosali.fi

Fri 9 Jan Schoenbrunn Palace Orchestra: Vienna New Year’s Concert This Viennese chamber music orchestra has been delighting the audience with its New Year's Concerts since 1996. Finlandia Hall, 19:30 Mannerheimintie 13 E Tickets €54/44 www.finlandiatalo.fi

Tue 13 Jan The Stranglers (UK) A significant punk rock band from the 70s is still touring. Tavastia Club, 20:00 Urho Kekkosen katu 4-6 Tickets €32/30 www.tavastiaklubi.fi

Sat 10 Jan Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra Ralf Gothóni on piano and Crusell-Quintet will play works of Mozart. Stoa Cultural Centre of Eastern

NCE!

Tue 13 Jan Riku Niemi Cool Mambo The merited conductor Riku Niemi has assembled the Cool Mambo group from members of his orchestra. They play mambo tunes and Latin rhythms. Malmitalo, 19:00 Ala-Malmin tori 1 Tickets €12 www.rikuniemi.com Tue 13 Jan Boforia Quintet The Quintet’s repertory consists of the works of Debussy, Ibert, Fernberg and Barber. Sibelius Academy Concert Hall, 19:00 Pohjoinen Rautatiekatu 9 Tickets €10/7 www.siba.fi Wed 14 Jan Pekka Pohjola Memorial Concert Musician friends of Pekka Pohjola play music in memory of the Finnish progressive rock legend. Tavastia Club, 20:00 Urho Kekkosen katu 4-6 Tickets €12/10.50 www.tavastiaklubi.fi

Until Sun 18 Jan Maiju Salmenkivi: The Day of the Darkness The overarching element in Salmenkivi’s paintings is the darkness that conquers Helsinki’s landscapes. Kluuvi Gallery Unioninkatu 28 B Tue - Sat 11:00-17:00 Sun - 12:00-16:00 Free entrance www.taidemuseo.hel.fi Until Sun 25 Jan Sándor Vály: Selected Life Paintings, sculptures and video works. Gallery Huuto Uudenmaankatu 35 Mon - Sun 12:00-18:00 Free entrance www.galleriahuuto.net

AT

25 |1 | 2009

AT 2pm.–6p

Lasipalatsi sq

m.

Flash of Genius (USA) Director: Marc Abraham Starring: Greg Kinnear, Lauren Graham, Alan Alda Genre: Drama

Until Sun 25 Jan Arabia 135 The exhibition includes Arabia's popular tableware and ornamental models throughout the company's history. Design Museum of Finland

H e ls i n k i Trave l T i p SUN

Changeling (USA) Director: Clint Eastwood Starring: Angelina Jolie, John Malkovich Genre: Crime/Mystery

Rööperi (Finland) Director: Aleksi Mäkelä Starring: Samuli Edelmann, Peter Frantzén, Pihla Viitala, Kari Hietalahti, Juha Veijonen, Jasper Pääkkönen Genre: Crime

HELSINKI in Your Mobile Phone Helsinki.mobi

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A mobile information package about Helsinki, which you can carry around in your pocket. Within the portal you can find all sorts of useful information about Helsinki, from attractions and restaurant guides to city maps and transportation schedules. Updated event calendar Metropolitan mobile map service Direct click-to-call action Video guide tour of the main attractions in the city

Taken (France) Director: Luc Besson Starring: Liam Neeson, Maggie Grace, Famke Janssen, Katie Cassidy Genre: Thriller

Advertising slots for advertisers Supports multiple language selection

WELCOME! THE CITIES OF HELSINKI AND BEIJING

Lion and dragon dancers | Chinese market and food stalls | Colourful fan- and lantern-dance troupe from Beijing | New Years show live from Beijing on video screen | Traditional acrobatic wushu (martial arts) from Beijing | Traditional Chinese puppetry from Beijing, also lot of other activities for children | CHINESE FIREWORKS OVER TÖÖLÖNLAHTI AT 6.15PM

Images automatically targeted to mobile device

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TV GUIDE

HELSINKI TIMES

thursday TV1 09:30 Down to Earth 11:05 News in English 11:10 Born and Bred 14:30 Doctors Kali treats an angry patient and Kate tries to lure Faith back to the clinic. 15:05 Coronation Street Gail and Eileen clash openly. Becky’s gift causes problems. 17:08 Born and Bred 22:40 Life Isn’t All Ha Ha Hee Hee SERIES BEGINS. Part 1/3. Three Indian women have been friends since childhood. Sunita is a housewife, Chila is getting married and Tania works in the movie industry. 23:40 Born Equal What happens when a man with a social conscience ends up in a shelter for homeless people?

TV2 06:50 Pikku kakkonen Cartoons for children in Finnish. 07:55 The Moomins. 10:35 Happy Days 11:05 Camilla Plum – Boller af Stål SERIES BEGINS. Part 1/6. Camilla has no need for high tech gadgets when she makes bread. Cooking show in Danish. 11:35 Plus belle la vie 12:00 Junk Brothers 12:25 John Wilson’s Fishing Safari SERIES BEGINS. Part 1/12. John Wilson is a superb fisherman and apt at finding good fishing spots all around the world. This time he is in Florida. 12:50 Derrick 16:10 Schwarzwaldklinik 17:00 The Secret World of Benjamin Bear 18:00 Cooking the World Fred Chesneau tours Morocco and samples the local delicacies. 19:20 Tour de Ski SPORT Men’s relay. Commentary in Finnish. 20:00 Die Kommissarin 23:55 David Nolande

YLE TEEMA 16:40 Around the World in 80 Treasures Dan Cruickshank visits cultural treasures around the world. 19:05 SOAP 19:30 Everest ER – Medicine Practiced at Extremes DOC 21:00 The Genius of Charles Darwin DOC SERIES BEGINS. Part 1/3. Richard Dawkins talks about the impact Charles Darwin had on the world.

friday

8.1. MTV3

NELONEN

09:35 The Young and the Restless 10:45 Emmerdale 12:15 Just for Laughs Gags 12:30 David Rocco’s Dolce Vita 13:00 How Clean Is Your House? 13:30 The Bold and the Beautiful 14:30 Just for Laughs Gags 14:40 Ally McBeal 17:00 The Bold and the Beautiful 17:30 Emmerdale 21:00 House Coast Guard saves two Cuban refugees from certain death but they are more worried about a suitcase they left behind than hypothermia. One of the men tells House he has risked everything only to meet him because he believes only House can save his wife. 22:30 Closer 23:30 Sin Eater (CERT 15) FILM Alex Bernier, member of a secret clerical organization, is sent to Rome to investigate a mysterious death. Directed by Brian Helgeland. Starring: Heath Ledger, Shannyn Sossamon. USA 2003. 01:25 Unit

SUB 07:00 Cartoons for Children In Finnish. 07:00 Tractor Tom, 07:10 Jim Jam and Sunny, 07:35 Batman. 11:25 Sturm der Liebe 12:45 Holiday Showdown 15:35 How I Met Your Mother SERIES BEGINS. Ted tells his children how he fell in love with his wife 25 years earlier. 16:00 Stacked Skyler, played by Pamela Anderson, is hired by two brothers to work in their bookshop, which she promptly turns upside down.

Stacked. SUB at 16:00 16:30 E! Entertainment: Behind the Scenes 17:00 E! Entertainment: Snoop Dogg’s Fatherhood 18:00 Sturm der Liebe 19:00 My name is Earl 19:30 Will & Grace 20:00 Friends 20:30 Simpsons 21:00 Top Chef Contestants have to create sunshine on a platter. 22:00 Million Dollar Listing 23:00 Supernatural 00:00 Late Night with Conan O’Brien 01:05 Smith and Jones

07:00 Cartoons for Children In Finnish. 07:00 Disney’s the Replacements. 07:25 Tutenstein. 07:50 Charlie & Mimmo. 08:00 Big Day 09:00 Come Dine with Me 09:30 Birth Stories 10:00 10 Years Younger USA 10:30 Staying Put 13:00 Birth Days 13:30 Diva on a Dime 14:00 Staying Put 14:30 Come Dine With Me 15:00 Dr. Phil 16:05 Days of Our Lives 17:00 October Road Janet and Hannah plan a double date to force their boyfriends to stop fighting, but end up feuding themselves. 18:00 So You Think You Can Dance 20:00 Stylista 21:00 Criminal Minds Team travels to Denver to investigate a string of murders committed against families with children. 22:00 Breaking Bad Altercation leaves two drug dealers dead and Walt doubting himself. 23:30 Frasier Frasier goes out to dinner alone, which makes everybody feel sorry for him. 00:00 The Office

TV1 09:30 Down to Earth 11:05 News in English 11:10 Born and Bred 14:30 Doctors Kali wants to know the reason for Faith’s divorce. Beth asks money from Jude. 15:05 Coronation Street Cilla gets confrontational with social services. Gail is having problems sleeping and Becky gets evicted. 17:08 Born and Bred 19:10 Heartbeat 22:15 The Street SERIES BEGINS. Part 1/18. Tired of being bored, Angela embarks on an affair with her neighbor. 00:05 William & Mary Mary has said “yes” and a wedding is on the way. William couldn’t be happier until news from work reach him and he has to make a big decision.

William & Mary. T V1 at 00:05

06:50 Pikku Kakkonen Cartoons for children in Finnish. 07:55 The Moomins. 11:30 Little House on the Prairie 14:50 Celine Dion – Las Vegas 2007 16:30 Building the Ultimate: Helicopter 19:20 Biathlon World Cup SPORT Women’s sprint. Commentary in Finnish. 20:35 Junk Brothers 22:05 Law & Order: Criminal Intent Young man falls in love with his therapist, but ends up dead. 22:50 Sopranos (CERT15) Tony, Christopher and Paulie go to Italy on business. Carmela is left wondering. 00:10 Sin City Law (CERT15)

YLE TEEMA

David Nolande. T V2 at 23:55

NICK BARLOW

I spend a lot of time slagging off Finnish TV, mostly because it’s crap. It’s not until you go overseas and see examples of truly shocking television, however, that you realise things could be much worse. I’m not talking about the shows themselves, since God knows the production values of most Finnish shows would make the Bold and the Beautiful look like an Oscar contender, but at least the Finns have had the good sense to consign the linguistic butchery of dubbing to the dustbin of history.

MTV3 09:35 The Young and the Restless 10:25 Emmerdale 10:55 Emmerdale 12:25 Just for Laughs Gags 12:30 David Rocco’s Dolce Vita 13:00 How Clean Is Your House? 13:30 The Bold and the Beautiful 14:30 Still Standing 17:00 The Bold and the Beautiful 18:00 Emmerdale Matthew, Carl and Sadie arrive in Emmerdale not knowing about the accident. Dawn and Jack talk about the future of the auto repair shop. 21:00 Without a Trace 22:35 Kindergarten Cop FILM Detective John Kimble has been through a lot in Los Angeles, but nothing has prepared him for the Kindergarten. Directed by Ivan Reitman. Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Pamela Reed, Penelope Ann Miller, Linda Hunt. USA 1990. 00:45 Smallville Martha is saved a mysterious viglante. Clark goes after him.

SUB

TV2 15:30 Ming’s Quest Ming hits the slopes in Colorado. 15:55 A Cook’s Tour 16:20 Design Remix 16:45 Trigged Out 17:10 Mighty Movers 18:00 Ming’s Quest Ming fishes and prepares German delicacies. 18:30 A Cook’s Tour Anthony gets lost in Thailand as he wonders around the city of Chiang Mai. 19:00 Don’t Sweat It 19:30 Save My Bath 20:00 Perfect Weapon Medieval fort bashing was not for the fainthearted. 22:00 Contender 23:00 Roast – Flavor Flav 00:10 Modern Marvels: Deep Freeze DOC 01:00 Mastermind (CERT 15)

23

9.1.SELECTION OF ENGLISH PROGRAMMES ON FINNISH TELEVISION

JIM

A subtitle in the right direction

L E H T I K U VA / M I K KO S T I G

8 – 14 JANUARY 2009

18:30 Tropic of Capricorn DOC Part 3/4. Simon Reeve’s journey takes him to Australia. 21:00 Apocalypse Now Redux (CERT15) FILM Three-hour, director’s cut version of the mother of all Vietnam movies. Directed by Francis Ford Coppola. Starring: Martin Sheen, Marlon Brando, Robert Duvall. USA 1979/2001.

I spent some time in Ukraine recently, and watching the TV you get over there can easily remove your will to live. Literally dozens of channels seem to spout endless Soviet-era propaganda films and hilariously inept versions of Western reality TV. In a nod to rampant American imperialism, they also show quite a lot of imported shows, movies and documentaries, but these are of precious little value if you don’t speak Russian since they are all, of course, given the voice-over treatment rather than subtitles. The bizarre part of it is that there is often the same guy reading all the parts in a movie or sit-com, so when Monica and Chandler have a conversation in Friends, what you actually hear is the same gruff-voiced Russian having a surreal and schizophrenic conversation with himself.

07:00 Cartoons for Children In Finnish. 07:00 Tractor Tom, 07:10 Jim Jam and Sunny, 07:35 Batman. 11:25 Sturm der Liebe 15:35 How I Met Your Mother 16:00 Stacked Skyler’s first day at the office doesn’t go quite as planned as she comes to work late. 16:30 E! Entertainment: E! News Weekend 18:00 Sturm der Liebe 19:00 My name is Earl 19:30 Will & Grace 20:00 Friends 20:30 Simpsons 22:00 Bones Body of an intern, found inside a waste incinerator, baffles Booth and Brennan. At least until they find out about an affair she was having. 23:00 C.S.I. Warrick investigates a violent assault in a familiar neighborhood. 00:00 Late Night with Conan O’Brien 00:55 Katie & Peter – The Next Chapter 01:45 Young, Sexy & …

Darkness Falls. NELONEN at 01:05

It doesn’t help the viewer much but it is pathetically shambolic. The weird thing is that when you move out of the Nordic countries, dubbing is by far the norm, and watching a show with subtitles is somehow quite posh. It’s completely bonkers. The list of countries that are really televisually backward consists of just about every European country, Scandinavia and the UK excepted. Only after watching Star Wars dubbed into Spanish will you know the true meaning of pain. Yet I’ve never met anyone who thinks that dubbing is a good idea, so I can only assume it’s for the benefit of the dyslexic, the moronic, the blind, or very ugly actors. Mind you, in this country things aren’t absolutely perfect. With the blanket introduction

NELONEN 07:00 Cartoons for Children In Finnish. 07:00 Disney’s the Replacements, 07:25 Tutenstein, 07:50 Charlie & Mimmo. 08:00 Big Day 09:00 Come Dine with Me 09:30 Birth Stories 10:00 Diva on a Dime 10:30 Staying Put 13:00 Birth Stories 13:30 What Women Really Want 14:00 Selling Houses 14:30 Nigella 15:00 Dr. Phil 16:05 Days of Our Lives 17:00 October Road Knight’s Ridge’s own boy, Jimmy Kornduffer, competes in a spelling bee and the whole town is rooting for him. Nick fears Aubrey may be seeing someone else. 18:00 So You Think You Can Dance 21:00 The Manchurian Candidate (CERT 15) FILM US Army Major Bennett Marco stumbles onto a conspiracy that puts him in great danger. His old army buddy, Richard Shaw, is running for vice president and there are dark forces at work behind the nomination. Directed by Jonathan Demme. Starring: Denzel Washington, Meryl Streep, Liev Schreiber, Kimberly Elise. USA 2004

The Manchurian Candidate. NELONEN at 21:00 23:55 Tudors 01:05 Darkness Falls (CERT15) Kyle witnessed the murder of his mother and this has shadowed his life. He must return to Darkness Falls and set things right. Directed by Jonathan Liebesman. Starring: Chaney Kley, Emma Caulfield, Lee Cormie, Grant Piro. USA 2003

JIM 15:30 15:55 16:20 16:45 17:10

Ming’s Quest A Cook’s Tour Don’t Sweat It Save My Bath Mighty Movers Ferries in Hawaii. 18:00 Canadian Sportsfishing 18:30 Skier’s World 19:00 DIY to the Rescue 19:30 Carter Can 20:00 Police Interceptors 22:00 Miami Ink 23:00 Banzuke 23:30 Banzuke 00:00 Most Daring Rescues

of digital TV in Finland, the text often completely disappears from the screen for minutes at a time, leaving you with no clue what’s going on. This also renders it hopeless trying to use the subtitles to learn Finnish (I tried it, and it didn’t work). One would also think it possible to have alternative subtitles sometimes – especially if there’s a Finnish film on, it would be great to have subtitles in English for example. DVDs have many language options; it can’t be that hard to sort it out on the telly, and there’s no point telling foreigners that Tuntematon Sotilas is a must-see classic on Independence Day when they can’t understand diddly-squat. But still, at least the acknowledgement of text as a sine qua non for decent telly is a start, although if the shows continue to be mainly imported drivel it only helps a little bit.


24

TV GUIDE

8 – 14 JANUARY 2009

saturday TV1 14:10 Keeping Up Appearances 14:40 Los Serrano 16:00 Holby City 18:20 Mumbai Calling 19:45 Monk 22:30 Lucky Louie (CERT15) Lou and Kim argue over how to discipline Lucy. 22:58 Medea Part 3/6. Jason’s star is on the rise, but Medea hears worrying rumours.

sunday

10.1. MTV3

NELONEN

07:55 Cartoons for Children 07:55 Dora The Explorer, 08:20 Viva Piñata, 08:30 Powerpuff Girls, 09:00 Pokémon, 09:25 Zorro, Woody Woodpecker. Spoken in Finnish.

11:30 13:00 13:30 15:30

Volvo Ocean Race Gay, Straight or Taken 3 lbs Ghost Whisperer Signs of impending doom grow stronger and Melinda fears those closest to her are at risk. 16:25 Hot Chick FILM Petty criminal Clive gets his hands on a magic earring, which transforms him into a popular girl. Directed by Tom Brady. Starring: Rob Schneider, Anna Faris, Rachel McAdams, Matthew Laurence. USA 2002. 18:30 America’s Next Top Model Girls learn improvisation with Nick Cannon. 20:00 American Gladiators 21:00 John Q (CERT15) FILM Father of a sick boy takes extreme action to guarantee medical treatment for his son. Directed by Nick Cassavetes. Starring: Denzel Washington, Robert Duvall, James Woods, Anne Heche. USA 2002. 23:40 Las Vegas 00:40 Sin (CERT15) FILM Ex-cop Eddie investigates his sister’s disappearance only to find she has landed herself in trouble with a ruthless crime boss. Directed by Michael Stevens. Starring: Gary Oldman, Ving Rhames, Kerry Washington, Alicia Coppola. USA 2003.

TV2

The Phantom of the Opera. T V2 at 22:05 00:20 The Border 01:05 Yle Live: Glastonbury 2007

YLE TEEMA 15:25 Classic Albums: Elvis Presley 16:15 The Time Machine DOC The world’s most powerful particle accelerator at CERN has given scientists hope of determining what the universe looked like nanoseconds after the Big Bang. 20:00 Tropic of Capricorn DOC SERIES ENDS. Part 4/4. Simon Reeve’s tour ends in South America. 21:53 Ultimo tango a Parigi – Last Tango in Paris (CERT 15) FILM Middle-aged businessman has an affair with a young woman. Directed by Bernardo Bertolucci. Starring: Marlon Brando, Maria Schneider, France/Italy 1972.

Viva Piñata. MT V3 at 08:20 10:25 Hannah Montana Jake is eyeing another beauty and Miley is naturally jealous. 12:55 George of the Jungle FILM George saves an American woman and learns what civilization is. Directed by Sam Weisman. Starring: Brendan Frasier, Leslie Mann, Thomas Haden Church, Richard Roundtree. USA 1997. 14:45 FIS Ski Jumping World Cup SPORT Commentary in Finnish. 16:05 FIS Ski Jumping World Cup SPORT Commentary in Finnish. 17:55 Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares SERIES BEGINS. Gordon Ramsay travels to Spain to save a restaurant in crisis and insult its owners in the process. 21:00 Survivor SERIES BEGINS. 15th season takes the contestants to China. 22:25 Walk the Line FILM Movie about the turbulent and troubled life of country legend Johnny Cash. Directed by James Mangold. Starring: Joaquin Phoenix, Reese Witherspoon, Ginnifer Goodwin. USA 2005. 01:05 Raines

JIM 11:10 11:35 12:00 12:25

SUB 13:10 Mad T V 14:30 E! Entertainment: How Do I Look 15:30 E! Entertainment: The Big Party Plan-Off 16:30 World’s Greenest Homes 17:00 Instant Star Jude realizes how important charity is. 18:00 American Inventor 20:00 Real Housewives of Orange County Jill, Ramona and Luann spend summer in the Hamptons. 21:00 C.S.I. Miami 22:00 Most Haunted 23:30 Murder (CERT15) 00:30 Stargate SG1 01:30 X-Files

LIVE SPORT Thursday 8.1. 18:30 Tappara-TPS, SM-liiga (C+ S1) 19:55 Brynäs-Luleå, Elitserien (C+SE) Saturday 10.1. 14:45 Aston Villa-WBA, Premierleague (C+ S1) 18:55 Genoa-Torino, Serie A (C+ SE) 19:25 Stoke-Liverpool, Premierleague (C+ S2) 19:30 HV 71-Färjestad, Elitserien (C+ S1) 21:25 Inter-Cagliari, Serie A (C+ S2) 22:10 Colorado-Pittsburgh, NHL (C+ S1) 20:55 Deportivo-Sevilla, La Liga (U+) Sunday 11.1. 15.25 Wigan-Tottenham, Premierleague (C+ S1) 15:55 Juventus-Siena, Serie A (C+ S2) 17:55 Man United-Chelsea, Premierleague (C+ S1) 21:25 Roma-Milan, Serie A (C+ S1) 21:55 Osasuna-Barcelona, La Liga (U) Wednesday 14.1. 21:25 Roma-Sampdoria, Serie A (C+ S2) 21:55 Man United-Wigan, Premierleague (C+ S1) C+ S1/2/E = Canal+ Sport1/2/Extra, U(+) = Urheilukanava(+)

L E H T IKU VA/R EU T E R S/NI GEL RO DD I S

07:45 Pikku Kakkonen Cartoons for children in Finnish. 10:00 The Moomins. 10:25 Sports Saturday SPORT 10:25-11:50 Cross country skiing Finnish Championships, women’s 10km. 12:2014:30 Cross country skiing Finnish Championships, men’s 15km. 17:25-18:50 Nordic combined World Cup. Commentary in Finnish. 20:25 Derren Brown 20:50 Ein Fall für Zwei 22:05 The Phantom of the Opera FILM Film adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical. Directed by Joel Schumacher. Starring: Gerard Butler, Emmy Rossum. USA 2004.

HELSINKI TIMES

SELECTION OF ENGLISH PROGRAMMES ON FINNISH TELEVISION 11.1.

TV1

MTV3

14:50 Los Serrano 17:08 Waterloo Road 22:10 Nesser’s Van Veeteren (CERT 15) Part 1/2. Someone is murdering young girls by suffocating them and a religious sect appears to be somehow connected. Moreno is on the case, but getting answers is difficult. 22:55 Absolutely Fabulous Edina has gone from PR to IT and Patsy has been promoted.

07:35 Cartoons for Children 07:35 Tractor Tom, 07:50 Tractor Tom, 08:05 Pokémon, 08:35 Transformers Animated, 08:55 Batman. In Finnish. 11:00 According to Jim 12:30 You’ve Got Mail FILM Two people who are fierce competitors in real life fall in love on the internet. Directed by Nora Ephron. Starring: Tom Hanks, Meg Ryan, Greg Kinnear, Parker Posey. USA 1998.

TV2 07:45 Pikku Kakkonen Cartoons for children in Finnish. 10:00 The Moomins. 11:20 Sports Sunday SPORT 11:20-12:30 Cross country skiing Finnish Championships, women’s 2 x 7,5km, 12:30-12:50 Nordic combined World Cup, 12:5014:40 Cross country skiing Finnish championships, men’s 2 x 15km, 15:33-16:10 Biathlon World Cup, women’s 12,5km, 16:10-16:45 Nordic combined World Cup, 17:1518:20 Biathlon World Cup. Commentary in Finnish. 19:10 The Wedding Singer FILM Singer and waitress experience true love on the eve of their weddings’. Directed by Frank Scoraci. Starring: Adam Sandler, Drew Barrymore. USA 1998. 21:00 Elisa di Rivombrosa 00:05 Skithouse 01:00 Sopranos (CERT15)

Ming’s Quest Ming’s Quest A Cook’s Tour A Cook’s Tour Tony meets other cooks in Melbourne over a nice dinner. 12:50 Good Eats 13:45 Human Weapon – Savate 15:30 Things to Try Before You Die 16:20 Canadian Sportfishing 16:45 Skier’s World 17:10 DIY to the Rescue 17:35 Carter Can 18:00 Hidden Potential 19:30 Dream Builders 20:00 Border Security 20:30 Crime Museum: Frederick Seddon 22:00 Police Patrol 23:00 Banzuke 23:30 Banzuke 00:00 Most Shocking (CERT 15) 00:55 Fifth Gear

12:05 Cuéntame cómo pasó 13:15 Stormy Weather Docudrama about composer Harold Arlen (1905-1986), who is known for classics such as Stormy Weather and Over the Rainbow. 16:15 The Genius of Charles Darwin DOC SERIES BEGINS. Part 1/3. Richard Dawkins talks about the impact Charles Darwin had on the world. 18:00 Foreign Correspondent FILM American journalist gets in trouble with Nazi thugs in Holland. Directed by Alfred Hitchcock. Starring: Joel McCrea, Laraine Day, George Sanders. USA 1940.

3 Ibs. NELONEN at 13:30

Batman. MT V3 at 08:55

YLE TEEMA

Jamie at Home You either love or you hate Jamie Oliver – or you think he is just very, very, very annoying and hope he would be quiet instead of ranting and raving about processed foods and how British children eat poorly at school while getting paid preposterous amounts of money by the Sainsbury’s supermarket chain for being their spokesperson. Wherever you stand in regards to Jamie Oliver, you can’t get around the fact that he has forged a remarkable career out of cooking in front of a camera. In this episode, Jamie makes pork with noodles and rhubarb sauce, rhubarb soufflé and dessert out of yoghurt and rhubarb. In case you are still remotely interested in rhubarb after that, Jamie will divulge the recipe of his secret creamy rhubarb ‘n vodka drink.

Nelonen at 09:00 Mon

You've Got Mail. MT V3 at 12:30 14:45 FIS Ski Jumping World Cup SPORT 16:05 FIS Ski Jumping World Cup SPORT 17:05 FIS Alpine Ski World Cup SPORT Highlights and live footage from men’s and women’s giant slalom. 17:25 Simpsons 22:35 In Plain Sight SERIES BEGINS. Mary Shannon is a Federal Marshall in charge of witness protection. Mary runs into trouble as the son of a mafioso is killed while under protection and the father wants revenge. 00:10 K-Ville

NELONEN 09:00 Jamie at Home 09:30 Colin & Justin’s Home Heist 10:30 Jeff Corwin Experience Human expansion in Central Africa has driven animals and people onto a collision course. Jeff visits two villages in Uganda, who have been having problems with crocodiles and lions. 11:30 The Most Extreme 12:35 Dr. Phil 13:30 Frasier 14:00 Frasier 14:30 Frasier 15:00 Frasier 15:30 Whistler 16:30 Wildfire Kris’ second jail term is behind her and she returns to the farm to where Wildfire, suspicious of everyone, awaits. 17:30 Ripley’s Believe It or Not 18:30 My Dad is Better than Your Dad Pitting dad against dad has always made good T V and this episode is no exception. Who will win the title of Best Dad? 20:00 Fear Factor: UK 21:00 Man on Fire (CERT15) FILM Denzel Washington plays a former CIA agent hired to protect a small girl. When the girl is kidnapped, the man goes on a bloody rampage. Directed by Tony Scott. Starring: Denzel Washington, Dakota Fanning, Marc Anthony, Radha Mitchell. USA 2004. 00:10 Lost (CERT15)

SUB 10:00 10:30 11:00 12:30 13:00 13:30 14:30 15:30 16:30 16:55

Cow & Chicken Futurama King of the Hill Hogan Knows Best Instant Star Quantum Leap Xena: Warrior Princess Holiday Showdown Hot Properties Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps 17:30 Commercial Breakdown 18:00 Katie & Peter – The Next Chapter 19:00 Project Runway The Final is upon us and Tim Gunn visits the finalists to see how their collections are doing. 20:00 Little Britain 20:30 That Mitchell and Webb Look 21:00 Heroes 22:30 Entourage 23:05 Sex Change DOC Anne, Kimberly and Jennifer used to be Dave, Ken and John. 00:45 Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps 01:20 Supernatural

Lost. NELONEN at 00:10

JIM 10:50 11:15 11:40 12:05 14:40 15:05 15:30 18:00

Ming’s Quest Ming’s Quest A Cook’s Tour A Cook’s Tour A Bikeography Wheeler Dealers Celebrity Rides Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern 18:55 Cooked 19:25 Cooking in the Danger Zone 20:00 Destination Truth Joshua looks for a flying dinosaur in Sambia and a sloth-like creature with two mouths but only one eye in the rainforests of Amazon. 22:00 Crime Stories 22:55 Contender


TV GUIDE

HELSINKI TIMES

monday TV1 09:30 Down to Earth Brian has to sell the sheep and Faith has a dark secret. 11:05 YLE News 11:10 Born and Bred 14:30 Doctors 15:05 Coronation Street Mike wants to believe beautiful words can have an effect. Gail still has nightmares about her exhusband. 16:30 Peak Practice Jack Kerruish returns to England, but work is hard to come by. 17:08 Peak Practice The people of Beeches are suspicious of Jack.

MTV3 09:35 The Young and the Restless 10:20 Emmerdale 10:45 Emmerdale 12:30 David Rocco’s Dolce Vita 13:00 How Clean Is Your House? 13:30 The Bold and the Beautiful 14:30 Two and a Half Men 15:00 L.A. Law 17:00 The Bold and the Beautiful 17:30 Emmerdale 18:00 Emmerdale 21:00 Life Charlie tries to solve the mystery of the missing fiancé.

TV2 06:50 Pikku Kakkonen Cartoons for children in Finnish. 07:57 The Moomins. 08:50 Vets in Practice 10:20 Plus belle la vie 11:20 Supernanny 13:00 Der Alte Werner Sturm, a.k.a. the Strangler, is released from prison and the yellow press is hot on his tail. 14:30 Elisa di Rivombrosa 16:10 McLeod’s Daughters 18:00 Schwarzwaldklinik 19:20 Sky Cops 22:05 The Border Kessler’s unit chase a pedophile. 22:50 Third Watch Looting and rioting continues in the city. Sully and Ty save an injured man, whose identity comes as a surprise to everyone.

YLE TEEMA 19:00 Cuéntame cómo pasó 21:00 Rock Album Classics Jimi Hendrix: Electric Ladyland 1968. 22:00 Yakiniku Mubi: Purukogi Za (The Yakiniku Movie: Bulgogi) FILM Brothers, separated at birth, both end up in the restaurant business. Directed by Suyeon Gu. Starring: Ryuhei Matsuda, Yu Yamada, Arata. Japan 2007. 23:55 Everest ER DOC SERIES BEGINS. Part 1/5. Series about the work of doctors in a hospital high up in the Himalayan mountains.

Disney's the Replacements. NELONEN at 07:00

tuesday

12.1.

Life. MT V3 at 21:00 22:30 Fringe Agent Dunham and her team are puzzled by a rapidly aging infant who seems to be somehow connected to the serial killer they have been chasing. 23:30 Psych School spelling bee has been sabotaged and Shawn is sent to investigate. 00:30 Survivor

SUB 07:00 Cartoons for Children In Finnish. 07:00 Tractor Tom, 07:10 Jim Jam and Sunny, 07:35 Batman. 11:25 Sturm der Liebe 15:35 How I Met Your Mother 16:00 Stacked 17:00 Commercial Breakdown 18:05 Sturm der Liebe 19:00 My Name Is Earl Earl tries to make amends with an old man, who the boys kicked out of their band before the first gig. 19:30 Will & Grace 20:00 Friends 20:30 Simpsons 21:00 Batman Begins FILM How Batman got started in the business of crimefighting? Directed by Christopher Nolan. Starring: Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Liam Neeson, Katie Homes. USA 2005. 23:40 Bionic Woman Jaime and Antonio are assigned to protect a head of state on a visit to the US, but half way through their mission Jaime begins to doubt if Antonio really wants to protect the man. 00:30 Sex Change DOC 01:30 Late Night with Conan O’Brien 02:20 E-Ring

NELONEN 07:00 Cartoons for Children In Finnish. 07:00 Disney’s the Replacements. 07:25 Tutenstein. 07:50 Charlie & Mimmo. 08:00 Big Day 09:00 Nigella 09:30 Birth Days 10:00 What Women Really Want 10:30 Selling Houses 13:00 Birth Stories 13:30 10 Years Younger USA 14:30 James Martin Digs Deep 15:00 Dr. Phil 16:05 Days of Our Lives 17:00 October Road Nick decides to confront the man he thinks Aubrey is having an affair with. Owen goes on a date just because Alison has been asked out. 18:00 So You Think You Can Dance 20:00 Ugly Betty Betty applies to the prestigious YETI School of Journalism. Wilhelmina makes her move to woo Connor. 21:00 Desperate Housewives Hospital is full of people injured in the fire. Doctors give Carlos hope he might see again, but Gaby is not happy. Susan finds out about Mike and Katherine. 22:00 Californication (CERT15) 22:35 Weeds (CERT15) U-TURN and the Armenians let Nancy go so that she can find the missing drugs, which turns out to be very difficult. 23:30 Frasier 00:00 Day Break

JIM 15:45 Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern 16:35 Ultimate Gambler 17:00 Cooked 17:25 Cooking in the Danger Zone 18:00 Banzuke 18:30 A Cook’s Tour Anthony was so impressed by Vietnam the first time that he returns for a second helping. 19:00 Cool Tools 19:30 Hidden Potential 22:00 Most Shocking (CERT15) 23:00 Jimmy Kimmel Live! 23:50 Biography: Jack the Ripper The legend of Jack the Ripper fascinates people to this day. Who was he? 00:45 Mastermind

TV1 09:30 Down to Earth 11:05 YLE News 11:10 Peak Practice 14:30 Doctors Kali’s patient suffers from depression after three miscarriages. To add insult to injury, she is arrested for shoplifting. 15:05 Coronation Street Adam’s coming of age is celebrated in ways that raise eyebrows. 17:08 Peak Practice Jack’s arrival changes everything. 19:00 Last of the Summer Wine

Last of the Summer Wine. T V1 at 19:00 21:00 Longford What made the Earl of Longford defend a woman convicted of murdering her own child? 22:30 The Street Boredom drives Angela into an affair with her neighbour.

TV2 06:50 Pikku Kakkonen Cartoons for children in Finnish. 07:55 The Moomins. yle.fi/pikkukakkonen 10:35 Happy Days 11:00 Kylie Kwong: My China 11:30 Animal Hospital 12:00 Monster Garage 12:51 Creature Comforts 16:10 McLeod’s Daughters Dave receives on offer from Africa. Kate is nervous. 22:05 Cross of Iron (CERT15) FILM German soldiers led by a battle-hardened NCO, played by James Coburn, try to survive the horrors of war and their new commander on the Eastern front. Directed by Sam Peckinpah. Starring: James Coburn, James Mason, Maximilian Schell. USA 1977. 00:45 Skithouse

19:00 Cidade dos Homens Larajinha’s cousin wants to break free from the drug business. 19:30 Little Mosque on the Prairie Christmas draws near and Sarah is feeling nostalgic. Rayyan tries cheer her mother up.

Batman Begins

Lipstick Jungle

Bruce Wayne, played by Christian Bale, traumatised by the death of his parents, travels to the far corners of the earth to learn about crime and the criminal psyche. He ends up in a Bhutanese prison and meets Henri Ducard, who invites him to join a group of vigilantes, The League of Shadows, led by the mysterious Ra’s al Ghul. While training in their mountain top hide-out, Bruce hears of al Ghul’s evil plan to destroy Gotham City, his childhood home, and escapes, killing al Ghul in the process. On his return to Gotham City, Bruce Wayne finds the town in a dreadful state, effectively led by crime boss Carmine Falcone, and decides to rid the city of criminals and make it safe again. Enter Batman and the rest is history.

Sex and the City was a popular television show and those deciding what we watch on TV have naturally been looking for an heir to the throne ever since the show began its inevitable decline. Darren Star, the producer of Sex and the City, went on to produce Cashmere Mafia, which follows the lives of four ambitious, young and successful women in New York City. The show’s lack of originality was only met by its lack of success as it was cancelled after only seven episodes. Candace Bushnell, the woman behind Sex and the City, has now returned with Lipstick Jungle, which, surprisingly, follows the lives of three young and successful women from New York City. Clearly, novelty is not an issue here. Time will tell whether this one will stay afloat.

SUB at 21:00 Mon

MTV3 at 21:00 Tue

25

13.1.

SELECTION OF ENGLISH PROGRAMMES ON FINNISH TELEVISION

MTV3 09:35 The Young and the Restless 10:20 Emmerdale 10:45 Emmerdale 12:30 David Rocco’s Dolce Vita 13:00 How Clean Is Your House? 13:30 The Bold and the Beautiful 14:30 Alf 15:00 Windfall Everything is turned upside down when twenty friends win 386 million dollars in the lottery.

Windfall. MT V3 at 15:00

YLE TEEMA

Two and a Half Men. MT V3 at 14:30

8 – 14 JANUARY 2009

17:00 The Bold and the Beautiful 17:30 Emmerdale 18:00 Emmerdale 20:00 Private Practice 21:00 Lipstick Jungle SERIES BEGINS. Wendy’s movie project is on the verge of collapse and Nico is afraid she will miss out on a promotion, because she has been talking about having children. 22:35 C.S.I. New York Three women pull a heist that leaves the team baffled. 23:35 C.S.I. New York Team deals with two murders. 00:30 Man Stroke Woman

SUB 07:00 Cartoons for Children In Finnish. 07:00 Thomas & Friends, 07:10 Jim Jam and Sunny, 07:35 Batman. 11:25 Sturm der Liebe 12:45 World’s Greenest Homes 15:35 How I Met Your Mother 16:00 Stacked Gavin has a dirty dream about Skyler. 16:30 E! Entertainment: Denise Richards 17:00 E! Entertainment: Hollywood Hotties 18:05 Hollyoaks 19:00 My Name Is Earl 19:30 Will & Grace 20:00 Friends 20:30 Simpsons 21:00 O.C. Kirsten’s sister makes a surprise visit on New Year’s Eve. 22:00 The Millionaire Matchmaker 23:00 Génesis SERIES BEGINS. Three mutilated corpses are found in a forest and Mateo’s team has to find out who the culprit is. In Spanish. 00:10 Late Night with Conan O’Brien

NELONEN 07:00 Cartoons for Children In Finnish. 07:00 Disney’s the Replacements. 07:25 Tutenstein. 07:50 Charlie & Mimmo. 08:00 Big Day 09:00 James Martin Digs Deep 09:30 Birth Stories 10:00 10 Years Younger USA 13:00 Birth Stories 13:30 10 Years Younger USA 14:30 My Greek Kitchen 15:00 Dr. Phil 16:05 Days of Our Lives 17:00 October Road Robert wants one memorable day with the boys before his cancer examination. Owen tries to track down the woman, who saved his life. 18:00 So You Think You Can Dance 20:00 Extreme Makeover: Home Edition Ty and the team help Kassandra, an eight-year-old cancer patient, who wishes the hospital was a more pleasant environment to spend time in. 21:00 Navy NCIS Dead man is found in an abandoned restaurant and suddenly Navy NCIS has a serial killer on their hands. 23:30 Frasier 00:30 Jericho

JIM 15:30 Stunt Junkies Greg Gasson tries going from airplane to airplane in free fall. 16:00 A Cook’s Tour 16:25 Cool Tools 16:50 Hidden Potential 17:15 Jimmy Kimmel Live! 18:00 Banzuke 18:30 A Cook’s Tour Anthony visits Singapore. 19:00 Over Your Head Grace Safayi had a bedroom built for her three years ago. She meant to finish the extension herself, but couldn’t quite pull it off. 19:30 Dream Builders 20:00 Re-Inventors

Re-Inventors. JIM at 20:00 20:30 How It’s Made 21:00 Mediums: We See Dead People DOC 22:00 Penn & Teller 22:30 MANswers 23:00 Jimmy Kimmel Live! 00:40 Master Mind (CERT 15)


26

TV GUIDE & WEATHER

8 – 14 JANUARY 2009

wednesday

HELSINKI TIMES

Thu 1/8

14.1.

−19 −14

TV1

MTV3

09:30 Down to Earth 11:05 YLE News 11:10 Peak Practice 14:30 Doctors Helen is worried about the wife of a comatose patient. Ben and Kali are trying to keep their relationship a secret. 15:05 Coronation Street Norris has an accident and Vera is worried about the consequences. 17:08 Peak Practice Relationship between Jack and a young female patient causes problems. 19:00 Keeping Up Appearances 22:00 The Recruiter DOC Recruiting people to fight for the US Army is not always easy, but it is Sergeant Clay Usie's job and he is very good at it. 00:55 Inside the Actors Studio Bette Midler talks to James Lipton.

09:35 The Young and the Restless 10:20 Emmerdale 10:45 Emmerdale 12:30 David Rocco’s Dolce Vita 13:00 How Clean Is Your House? 13:30 The Bold and the Beautiful 14:30 How I Met Your Mother 15:00 Northern Exposure Holling is sad over the passing of his uncle and Joel searches the phonebooks for familiar names. 17:00 The Bold and the Beautiful 17:30 Emmerdale

Emmerdale. MT V3 at 17:30

TV2 06:50 Pikku Kakkonen Cartoons for children in Finnish. 07:58 The Moomins. 10:35 Happy Days 11:00 Mat med Niklas 16:10 McLeod’s Daughters Dave is going to Africa and Kate is concerned. 17:00 The Busy World of Richard Scarry Classic animation spoken in Finnish. 19:20 Biathlon World Cup SPORT Women’s relay. Commentary in Finnish.

21:00 C.S.I. Warrick is being investigated on murder charges and his addiction threatens his work. 22:30 Ice Road Truckers Hugh is having technical difficulties. 23:30 Mythbusters Can you save the others by throwing yourself on a handgrenade? 00:35 3rd Rock From the Sun French charmer asks for Sally’s hand and is prepared to pay a handsome dowry.

SUB YLE TEEMA 21:00 Brando DOC The life and times of the great Marlon Brando. 21:55 Little Mosque on the Prairie Christmas draws near and Sarah is feeling nostalgic. 22:20 The Bullshit Detectives Alasdair Jeffrey reveals how consumers are being tricked. Jeffrey and his team take an in-depth look at discount coaches and beverages at movie theatres. 23:15 Yle Live – Judas Priest On stage in Memphis in 1982. Lederhosen and borderline gay erotica.

Ice Road Truckers. MT V3 at 22:30

07:00 Cartoons for Children In Finnish. 07:00 Thomas & Friends. 07:10 Jim Jam and Sunny. 07:35 Batman. 11:25 Sturm der Liebe 15:35 How I Met Your Mother 16:00 Stacked Skyler asks help to get her grandfather’s watch back from her ex-boyfriend. 16:30 E! Entertainment: True Hollywood Story 18:05 Sturm der Liebe 19:00 My Name Is Earl 19:30 Will & Grace 20:00 Friends 20:30 Simpsons Bart is on a war path. 21:00 Habana Blues FILM Cuban musicians maintain a positive outlook on life despite economic hardships. Directed by Benito Zambrano. Starring: Alberto Yoel, Roberto Sanmartin, Yailine Sierra, Tomas Cao. Spain/France/Cuba 2005. 23:00 C.S.I. Team has to stop a peeping Tom before he turns violent. 00:00 Late Night with Conan O’Brien 00:55 Wire

NELONEN 07:00 Cartoons for Children In Finnish. 07:00 Disney’s the Replacements. 07:25 Tutenstein. 07:50 Charlie & Mimmo. 08:00 Big Day 09:00 My Greek Kitchen 09:30 Birth Stories 10:00 10 Years Younger USA 10:30 Open House 13:00 Birth Stories 13:30 10 Years Younger USA 14:00 Staying Put 15:00 Dr. Phil Bernadette has changed her name to Cameron and wants to be a man. 16:05 Days of Our Lives Hope prepares Patrick for the Police Academy. 17:00 October Road Owen goes out on a date with the girl of his dreams. 18:00 So You Think You Can Dance 20:00 The Bachelor Jealousy rears its ugly head as the girls fight for Brad. 22:00 Mad Men Roger’s wife is out of town, so he decides to party. 23:20 Frasier Roz finds out if she’s pregnant or not. 23:50 Kidnapped Kidnappers’ ranks are crumbling and some of them take the initiative. 00:50 Dirt

−19

Thu 1/8

−12 −14 −15

−10 −10 Fri 1/9

−10 −11 −10 −5 −1 −3

−1 +1 Sat 1/10 −2 0

−2 0 0 −5

0 +1 Sun 1/11 −3 −3

−2

0 −1

JIM

0

+1 16:00 16:25 16:50 17:15 18:00 19:00 19:30

A Cook’s Tour Over Your Head Dream Builders Jimmy Kimmel Live! Banzuke Design Remix Trigged Out Mini Cooper S gets a thorough sound system revamp. 20:30 Fifth Gear

+1 Mon 1/12 −3 −2 +1

+3 +5

+4

+4 +6 Tue 1/13

−8 −7 +1

+1 +3

Fifth Gear. JIM at 20:30

+3

+3 21:00 Modern Marvels: Shovels DOC We have developed remarkably advanced tools for digging, but the shovel still holds its own against high tech competition. 22:00 Wheeler Dealers 23:00 Jimmy Kimmel Live! 23:50 Mediums: We See Dead People DOC 00:45 Mastermind Rony Leibovitz robs banks in Israel but does he have what it takes to be a modern version of Robin Hood.

+4 Wed 1/14 −12

Fri 1/9

Sat 1/10

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−1

−2

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0

+1

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+14

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+10

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+31

+29

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+5

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0

+2

+1

+1

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+18

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+23

+23

+20

+23

+1

+4

+2

+2

+3

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+2

+15

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+13

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+19

+19

+19

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−5

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0

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+18

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+9

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+14

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+2

+2

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+17

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+14

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+15

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+25

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+21

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−8

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0

0

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+26

+8

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0

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+30

+27

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0

−15

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0

0

0

0

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−2 −2

Thursday 1/8 9:19 am 3:34 pm

10:13 am 2:36 pm

9:32 am 3:43 pm

10:41 am 2:07 pm

9:36 am 3:27 pm

The Recruiter Clay Usie is one of the best recruiters in the history of the US Army. Although people are more and more reluctant to sign up, he still works hard to find young men and women who can be convinced to become small parts in the machinery that assures the US will remain the world’s only superpower. The Recruiter not only follows the life of Sergeant Usie but also Matt, Lauren and Bobby, teenagers recruited by him, who are transformed from high school students into soldiers. Usie’s dedication to his work is remarkable and one can only wonder what he might achieve were he to channel his energy into something else. This is an excellent and intriguing documentary about American patriotism and the relationship between a nation and its army.

TV1 at 22:00 Wed

has started a column series Expat views with rotating expat column writers and now we are interested in your experiences. Share your funny, memorable, frustrating or great experiences of Finland with our readers. Please send us a brief email to heidi@helsinkitimes.fi with a piece of information about yourself and what kind of experiences you would like to write about and we will give you more information on how to proceed with your story.

Helsinki Times Oy Vilhonvuorenkatu 11 B 00500 Helsinki www.helsinkitimes.fi


CLASSIFIEDS & SERVICES

HELSINKI TIMES

8 – 14 JANUARY 2009

27

Finland info Thursday 8 – 14 Wednesday January 2009 DENTAL CARE

Alko. The only store to sell alcohol stronger than beer. Alkos are open Mon-Fri 9-20, Sat 9-18. www.alko.fi

tel. 726 2266 Emergency duty

24 h

Dental care centre

Eurohammas Hämeentie 60

We offer you kind and professional service. Our dentist: Mikko Larjomaa.

OUR SPECIAL PRICES Tooth-coloured filling from.............................€52 Painless tooth removal from.........................€52 Removal of dental calculus and stains, fluoridation and cleaning from.......................€52 Dental whitening..........................................€150 Other services: Dental Implants Surgery Tooth Jewels Open: Mon – Fri 8 – 20. Right by the buses, trams and the metro. On the street level, easy access with the wheelchair.

Open Mon - Fri 8-20 Sat 9 -15

Uushammas tel. 146 1460

The prices of the special dental technician Prosthesis as if the teeth were your own (made with the best materials)

IN THIS MONTH: THE FULL PROSTHESIS OF UPPER OR LOWER JAW......€360 THE FULL PROSTHESIS OF UPPER AND LOWER JAW....€590 THE FULL PROSTHETIC LINING................................ ........€65 IN CASE OF EMERGENCY THE PROSTHESIS CAN BE MADE IN 12 HOURS.

24 h

Lining and fixing while waiting. No discount of the special prices

Banks and Money Exchange. Banks are usually open Mon-Fri 10-16:30. Money Exchange office Forex at the Helsinki Railway Station is open Mon-Sun 8-21. Emergency Number. 112 Health. Helsinki City Health Centres are open Mon-Fri 8-16. In case of children in need of urgent medical treatment contact tel. +358 9 10023 or Lastenklinikka’s Emergency Department, tel. +358 09 471 72783 or +358 09 471 72751. Emergency Rooms at the Malmi and Maria Hospital offer treatment at night and during weekends. Malmi tel. 09 10023 or +358 9 310 6611. Maria tel. 09 10023 +358 9 471 63466. Grocery stores. Most grocery stores are open Mon-Fri 7-21, Sat 7-18, Sun 12-21. Libraries. Public libraries in Helsinki are usually open Mon-Thu 10-20 and Fri-Sat 10-16. Kirjasto 10 (Library 10) in the centre of Helsinki (in Postitalo, Elielinaukio 2 G) offers internet access and good information services in English. It’s open Mon-Thu 10-22, Fri 10-18 and Sat-Sun 12-18. Museums are closed on Mondays. More information on museums is available at www.a5.fi/lehdet/museoesite Post. Post offices are usually open Mon-Fri 10-18. www.posti.fi Public Transport operates in Helsinki and its environs from around 05:30, 06:30 on weekends, until midnight. Night buses operate extensively on weekends. www.ytv.fi and www.hkl.fi

UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS

Working in Finland? To get earnings-linked benefits in case of unemployment in Finland, you need to be a member of an unemployment fund. Get your independent unemployment security now for only 67 €/ year. Join us: www.ytk.fi

TRAVEL

Travel,Training & Business Services for Europe and India Euro-India Business & Travel Annankatu 7C 19 00120 Helsinki (Finland) +358 9 8138077 Tel. in UK +44 8718714098 e-mail: mail@euro-indiatravel.com

EXPAT VIEW MEGHAN SMITH is an English teacher and holds Spanish and journalism degrees from the University of Texas at Austin. She considers herself a New Orleans native, and a ‘New Finn’.

What keeps you here? AFTER you earn your “I’ve sur-

vived several winters in Finland” street cred, you might find this familiar question being asked if you aren’t here for Nokia or a significant other. There are many men that meet neither of those requirements but are afflicted with the omniscient Hank of Finland Forum’s term: Hot Blonde Syndrome. I find myself in none of these categories, and find it funny when Finns incredulously probe my personality for clues for what it is that keeps me here. The verdict: though I have no Finnish heritage, connections or distant relatives, they inevitably decide that I somehow inherited a mutant Finnish gene.

My Swedish teacher concluded such a thing when I told her that I regularly imbibe more than four glasses of milk a day, when in my previous life it was merely an accessory to cereal. The devil is in the details they say, and while considered more restrained and quiet back home, with bosses constantly criticizing my lack of assertiveness and saying that I need to be more aggressive, here I am probably considered quite social, talkative and loud. But it seems that none of that matters. Apparently, my love of summer cottages, berry and mushroom picking, sauna and even orienteering is a bit too much to swallow

In this series expats look at their life in Finland.

for many Finns that I meet. Usually, a typical response upon discovering one of these traits is “BUT, you’re not Finnish!” An alarming new addition to these Finnishisms is my sudden and inexplicably strong desire to eat salmiakki at the oddest of moments. That is something I have specifically fought against for years. And now, suddenly, I crave it at the movies along with my popcorn. It seems that even my social skills have deteriorated, as the art of small talk has all but disappeared and now I shuffle awkwardly, looking for my drink, wondering where my friends are. After the pikkujoulu season, I definitely need some stare at the wall time, and when I do plan parties, I invite about

three times as many people as I would want to come, because inevitably, a fourth of the people will already have other activities scheduled for that day. Finns are rather busy after all; even the more antisocial ones usually have their hobbies, 100-year village parties, travelling and work colleagues or childhood friend obligations. One thing that remains decidedly unFinnish about me in this area is that I don’t have a calendar, though I am seriously considering it, as I’ve gotten in trouble many times for double booking or forgetting social obligations. In the end, maybe it’s my friends and a certain way of peaceful and productive living that I enjoy so much here, that I know would not be as rewarding elsewhere.

www.euro-indiatravel.com


035535-0802

ISSUE 2 (82) 8 – 14 JANUARY 2009 • ISSN 1796-8321. Price €3 (sis ALV) Publisher Helsinki Times Oy Vilhonvuorenkatu 11 B 00500 Helsinki Finland

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